Tomah community shows support with pinwheels for Payton


TOMAH, Wis. (WKBT) – Payton Pierce, a 16-year old girl from Tomah, is well-loved around the Tomah community.

“Payton is one of those people who is always there for anyone who needs her. She’s one of those people who you can’t be around without smiling,” said Payton’s friend, Peyton Foster.

Payton continues to recover in a Madison hospital from severe injuries that happened in a car crash earlier this month.

Her friends wanted to make sure they were there for her.

“My initial instinct was oh my goodness how can I help how can I show my love for Payton,” Foster said.

With the help of one of their teachers, the idea of Pinwheels for Payton came to life.

“They had lots of ideas and they kind of reached out and that’s when we came up with Pinwheels for Payton. It was a way for students to get involved actively,” said Tomah High School teacher Amy King.

It started out as pinwheels for Payton, but it turned into the entire community getting involved and wanting to help.

“The Tomah community has totally wrapped its arms around the Peirce family I would say,” King said.

The movement went beyond just Tomah and even went across the country.

“Someone reached out and I had to mail a pinwheel all the way to Florida,” King said.

3,000 pinwheels were made and within a few days, they were all out.

Payton’s friends say that they were shocked with how much the community got involved and say it was much needed.

“I knew there was going to be a lot of people but it was amazing, before we even opened people were coming to donate and get a pinwheel,”  said Payton’s friend Hannah Van Treese.

Other families and friends have made bracelets, key chains, and wristbands. Anything they can do to show their support.

“It was incredible to see not only the way Tomah reacted to the incident but also the communities surrounding our area,” Foster said.

Payton won’t have to fight alone.

She has the entire community by her side.