The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

Newsletter Signup

Get our news delivered straight to your inbox every week.

* indicates required

Tragedy inspires a community’s support

The+Appalachian+Online
The Appalachian Online

Mandie Phillips, an Appalachian State University senior, passed away after a fatal automobile accident Dec. 20, 2014.

However, the tragedy has led to an outpouring of support from those who knew her.

Phillips had a joint-lease in a house with two other students, Ashlee and Olivia Sabins, whose landlord refused to adjust their rent, requiring them to pay Phillips’ portion until they could find a subleaser.

Despite the circumstances, Ashlee Sabins said she does not resent the landlord.

“We don’t know if [the landowner] is unwilling or unable to offer us financial help,” Ashlee Sabins said. “Maybe renting out this house is his only source of income. There are a lot of things that can explain his not cutting the rent back.”

Katelyn Mcquatters, a junior economics major and friend of Phillips, started a fundraiser which can be found at www.gofundme.com/jothag to help pay the rent.

“I honestly didn’t think it would make a difference, so I just told [Mcquatters] to go ahead and do it,” Ashlee Sabins said.

The actual response could not have been further from the expectation. Mcquatters said the fundraiser met its goal within the first 24 hours. As of press time, the fundraiser had surpassed its $1,500 goal, raising $1,742.

“It’s crazy to see that it wasn’t just a couple people giving us huge lump sums of money,” Mcquatters said. “It was a bunch of people giving $5 and $10, so it’s crazy to see how many people wanted to help, even if they knew they couldn’t give a lot.”

Ashlee Sabins said all the additional money raised will go to the Phillips family who will donate the money to a charity Mandie Phillips would have liked. Phillips’ friends said she always embodied a philanthropic nature.

“She was always giving more than I think she even had, but that was just her spirit,” Mcquatters said.

In addition, Ashlee Sabins said she will be selling bracelets around campus. The bracelets won’t have a fixed price, so the buyer can decide how much they want to donate.

“Even if you’ve only got some loose change, that’s fine,” Ashlee Sabins said.

Inscribed on the bracelets will be the phrase, “Mandie for President.”

“Mandie always said she was going to become president one day,” Ashlee Sabins said.

The money raised by the bracelet sale will go toward travel expenses and other costs for bringing the Phillips family to Boone for a memorial service.

“We just want to show the Phillips family how much of a support system they have here at Appalachian State University,” Ashlee Sabins said. “This is such a great campus and university, I don’t doubt for a second that the service will be wonderful.”
The service will be held on Jan. 24 at 3 p.m. in IG Greer Hall, and will be a celebration of her life rather than a time of mourning.

“Mandie was something else,” Ashlee Sabins said. “She was a voice of our generation, that’s for sure.”

Story: Tommy Culkin, News Reporter

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Appalachian
$1065
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

We hope you appreciate this article! Before you move on, our student staff wanted to ask if you would consider supporting The Appalachian's award-winning journalism. We are celebrating our 90th anniversary of The Appalachian in 2024!

We receive funding from the university, which helps us to compensate our students for the work they do for The Appalachian. However, the bulk of our operational expenses — from printing and website hosting to training and entering our work into competitions — is dependent upon advertising revenue and donations. We cannot exist without the financial and educational support of our fellow departments on campus, our local and regional businesses, and donations of money and time from alumni, parents, subscribers and friends.

Our journalism is produced to serve the public interest, both on campus and within the community. From anywhere in the world, readers can access our paywall-free journalism, through our website, through our email newsletter, and through our social media channels. Our supporters help to keep us editorially independent, user-friendly, and accessible to everyone.

If you can, please consider supporting us with a financial gift from $10. We appreciate your consideration and support of student journalism at Appalachian State University. If you prefer to make a tax-deductible donation, or if you would prefer to make a recurring monthly gift, please give to The Appalachian Student News Fund through the university here: https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1727/cg20/form.aspx?sid=1727&gid=2&pgid=392&cid=1011&dids=418.15&bledit=1&sort=1.

Donate to The Appalachian
$1065
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Appalachian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *