The family of Matthew Frank, known to many on the Central Coast as SLOStringer, made a major donation Thursday to the San Luis Obispo Firefighters Union non-profit BEAR Fund.
The group is using the $25,210 donation to start their fund and to purchase 4 e-assist mountain bikes along with all of the associated accessories.
The Frank family made the donation from the last of the money collected in the SLOStringer/Matthew Frank Memorial fund. The fund was started anonymously on Go-Fund-Me after he died in a car crash in 2017.
His parents, Steven and Jacquelyn, who didn't know about the fund when it was started, then matched the total dollar amount raised on the site and spent the last two years donating the money to a variety of first responder organizations in honor of Matthew's memory.
Firefighters say the bikes can be used to improve and speed up service if someone is injured on an open space hiking trail. They're also easier to use on smaller roadways that are not as accessible by bigger vehicles.
"With the bikes, we'll have the ability to have very quick access to cover a lot of ground. We'll be able to get to them and render care in a much more expeditious fashion," said Alex Flatos, BEAR Fund President.
BEAR stands for "Benevolent Emergency Assistance Relief." The goal of this group is to help fire service members and their families as well as others in need in the community.
"In times of need with local brothers and sisters inside the fire service, we can come to their aid financially and in many other ways but a lot of the time that starts financially, so we were able to start this fund and receive our first donation today," Flatos said.
Matthew Frank was well-known in the community for his social media coverage of breaking news incidents and highlighting the work of first responders on their day-to-day duties throughout the county. He died in a car crash while on his way to a fire.