By Natalie Zarowny
Hundreds showed up Saturday night at the American Legion in Galesburg to raise money for the family of Robert Kilgore.
"When I look at the crowd and I see all the people it's really hard not to cry, I didn't plan on it being this big," said event organizer Dawn Hutchison, a close friend of Robert and his family.
Hutchison put the benefit together in just weeks.
"We started calling some businesses around town that started donating things to help with it, we put it on Facebook and it kind of exploded from there," said Hutchison.
On January 20th, 23-year-old Robert Kilgore was fatally stabbed.
Robert was trying to fight off an alleged thief from burglarizing a car on his street in Galesburg.
He died in a Peoria hospital a few hours later.
"It was a tragedy for our area," said Hutchison.
Family and friends are still trying to wrap their heads around what happened, but said the community outreach is encouraging.
"It helps," said family friend Jonna Stout.
"It does make us feel a little bit better, I mean, nothing can take away the grief, nothing is going to stop reminding us on a daily basis," said Kristin Wong, Robert's cousin.
Nearly 300 silent auction items were donated, plus raffle drawing prizes, food and drinks, and baked goods.
"You know Galesburg doesn't always get a good rap, but this has given us renewed faith in our town, because everybody has pulled together to show their support and it's just unbelievable," said Hutchison.
And for Robert's family, the outpouring from the community is a testament to how much he touched people on a daily basis.
"I did not expect it to be this big, although at the same time I guess I'm not shocked," said Wong.
The money from the benefit will go towards a headstone, funeral expenses, and hospital bills.