Community raises $20,000 for injured Greece teacher at fundraising auction

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MONROE COUNTY, N.Y. — The community came together Thursday night for a man whose life was derailed after a freak accident.

A fundraiser was held at Fairport Brewing Company in Rochester for Eric Ekstrom, a Greece Middle School teacher who was seriously hurt by a rogue wave while in Ocean City, Maryland. The wave drove his body into the ocean floor, breaking his neck.

Ekstrom survived a nine-hour surgery two weeks in trauma care in Baltimore and two weeks at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, and now he’s at a rehab center in Atlanta.

People there explained what all the support meant.

“Eric is just a great guy … great relationships with students,” said Jen Dubreck, a science teacher at Odyssey Academy.

At last tally, the value of the items auctioned at Thursday’s fundraiser was close to $20,000.

Organizers are also working on future fundraisers in which Ekstrom’s students can take part.