It’s been just a handful of days since a U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hickory crew member died. Chief Warrant Officer Michael Kozloski died in an accident involving a crane last week on the Homer Spit.
Now, Homer residents and the local Coast Guard community are rallying around Kozloski’s family. He is survived by his wife and four children.
Homer resident Mary Jo Cambridge started a GoFundMe page to help out. She owns a local gym, which Kozloski attended, and she also coached his daughters in softball.
“He was just a giver and a great guy and easy going person with just a wonderful smile, just a great man,” she said. “It's a huge loss for his family. They're a beautiful, young family, and he was a man who adored his family and was very involved with them and it's just a tragedy.”
As of Monday afternoon, the page raised nearly $15,000 for Kozloski’s wife.
“So I just thought if we could get close to $25,000, that will help her immediately,” she said. “That money will be available to her within a few days. It will go right to her, all of it.”
Dan Cole is the commander of the Homer Coast Guard auxiliary and he says there are many ways residents can donate to Kozloski’s family, including donations through the Chief Petty Officers Association of Alaska. For those who wish to donate in person, there’s also a Brie Kozloski Memorial Fund account open at Wells Fargo.
He adds that community members are also delivering meals to the family.
“The Coast Guard auxiliary has talked directly with Brie Kozloski, Mike Kozloski’s wife, and offered whatever services she needs: childcare, snowplowing, laundry, food and financial services,” he said.
The community is hosting a couple of fundraisers for the family this weekend as well.
The Homer Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with other local organizations will host a barbecue at the Homer Volunteer Fire Department after Homer’s winter carnival parade Saturday.
Money raised was originally intended for Coast Guard members recovering from the federal government shutdown. But Cole says money will now go to Kozloski’s family.
“The American Legion and Coast Guard Auxiliary are going to assist with grilling hot dogs and hamburgers,” he said. “We encourage people to come down and get a free hot dog. But donations are welcome going to the Kozloski family.”
Paul Banks Elementary School is hosting a carnival from 1-3 p.m. Saturday. All proceeds will be donated to Kozloski’s family.
Correction: a previous version of this story incorrectly reported Homer Coast Guard Auxiliary Commander Dan Cole’s title.
Update: This story has been updated to include an additional option for donating to Kozloski’s family.