A special fundraiser was held at Bob Evans restaurants across Northeast Ohio Thursday for Peter Radke, a Medina man who sacrificed his life to save a drowning girl in Lake Erie.
The word hero now has new meaning for Peter's wife and four children.
"Normally I think I incorporated hero with like firemen or the army, and you never realize that an ordinary person could be a hero," reflected Peter's eldest child Hannah.
"I really miss his smile…that's something that I took for granted…little things like that," she continued.
Hannah and her sister Brynn were at Huntington Beach as their father rescued the stranger.
"If I was a mom and if that was my kid you know like drowning out there I would be so grateful there's someone like my dad to be there," added Brynn.
It's a sacrifice that has touched the hearts of thousands who now want to help Peter's family.
Lines were out the door at many Bob Evans restaurants with people anxious to support the Peter Radke Memorial Fund.
"I love them and they're a wonderful family and it's so awesome to see Northeast Ohio, actually all of Ohio, come together to support this family," said fundraiser organizer Sue Gulachek.
Fifteen percent of each bill was donated to the memorial fund which will help with Peter's children's college expenses among other needs.
"I'm so grateful and I'm really proud of my husband...I was proud of him before this but really proud," cried his wife Michelle.
She says while the donations will help a great deal, the hero's legacy Peter left behind is truly priceless.
"He always struggled with what makes a man successful…and he always came down to have they made a significant contribution to the world around them?" Michelle recalled. "He was already our hero."
If you would like to donate to the Peter Radke Memorial Fund you can do so by clicking HERE.