Authorities are calling Pete Radke, 43, of Medina "a hero" for his efforts to rescue a girl from Lake Erie


MEDINA -- Community members have organized a fundraiser in support of the man who died after attempting to rescue a girl from Lake Erie during the Memorial Day weekend.

Authorities are calling Pete Radke, 43, of Medina "a hero" for his efforts to rescue a girl, who was hospitalized after the incident.

He was found dead a few hours after a water search began at Huntington Beach.

The Peter Radke Memorial Fund is hosting a donation day at area Bob Evans on June 19.

From open to close, Bob Evans restaurant will donate 15 percent of all dine-in and carry-out sales to the fund.

To participate, customers must present a flier at check out (a link to print the flier is seen below).

Authorities are calling Pete Radke, 43, of Medina "a hero" for his efforts to rescue a girl from Lake Erie.

Fundraiser organizer Sue Gulachek says after creating the fund, they found many people were unable to donate online. Donations are still being accepted for the fund by clicking HERE.

Pete had four children, a loving wife and community of friends on social media and in his Medina neighborhood who were inspired by his faith.

His wife says the rescue is just something Pete would do, jumping into a choppy and cold Lake Erie waters to save someone he didn't know.

"I just had no idea the impact he made in people's lives. Just being him. Just being everyday Pete," said Michelle.

"I think I'd be a wreck if it wasn't for the faith I have and having that reassurance that I'm going to see my dad again," said 16-year-old daughter Hannah.

The girls were there to celebrate Brynn's 14th birthday. Radke jumped in to help rescue a teenage girl in distress. She survived. He died a hero.

His family said Pete loved soccer, the guitar and connecting online, but he loved God first.

They want his legacy to help save others.

"I would love to see more signs posted closer to the rocks. Not just at the top of the hill. At the stars, but actually on the beach," said Michelle.

She's filed a petition, hoping the Metroparks will help to warn even the strongest of swimmers about dangerous conditions that took her husband. You can find the petition HERE. (Mobile users:

"I don't blame anybody, I don't. My husband made his choice," said Michelle. "If there was a way (the other swimmer) could have seen a sign, it would have made a difference. It would have changed everything and not turned our world upside down."

"If I could make that change for one family, I would like to," she said.

The Peter Radke Memorial Fund was created by Brunswick High School alumni. Radke's wife, Michelle, graduated from the school in 1985.

As of Saturday, Huntington Beach now has a lifeguard on duty.

Gulachek says this is an opportunity for the community to show support for the family after the sacrifice Radke made.

Print the flier below to participate.

Radke Flyer by Rona Proudfoot

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