A GoFundMe campaign was set up on Tuesday to gather memorial funds for the family of Tavaris and Tavaughn Bulgin, the brothers who went missing during a night jump off Big Bridge, also known as Jaws Bridge, in Edgartown. The fund shot past its initial $50,000 goal in less than 24 hours, with $84,883 and counting. Doug Abdelnour, who owns Nomans in Oak Bluffs, where the brothers were working during the summer before the incident, organized the fundraiser in the face of the “unspeakable tragedy.” Nomans was closed on Monday and Tuesday, but is now back in business.
“The costs of travel, transport, funeral, and memorial services add up quickly, and our goal is to ease the burden on the family by allowing them the space and time to grieve without worrying about access to sufficient funds to lay their sons to rest properly,” Abdelnour wrote in the campaign. “All donations will go to the Bulgin family.”
Tavaris, 26, was found dead on Monday morning at Sengekontacket Pond. Tavaughn, 21, is still missing. According to the campaign, the two young men were from Clarendon, Jamaica, and “left an impression on everyone they met” with “their bright smiles, charismatic personalities, unshakeable faith, and unrelenting positive attitude.”
In Jamaica, Tavaris was “well-known as a beloved teacher” and Tavaughn was known as a “musical prodigy” and a gifted soccer player. They studied business at University of Technology, Jamaica, and the University of the West Indies. The campaign also highlighted the brothers’ Christian upbringing, playing music in church and taking an active part in the ministry of their father, the Rev. Keith Bulgin of Palmers Cross New Testament Church of God. Abdelnour wrote that Tavaris and Tavaughn “were destined to make an impact in every community they served and every endeavor they pursued.”
“Their enthusiasm for life, commitment to God and their church, and impact on their community are how family and friends remember them. They leave an unforgettable mark on the community of Martha’s Vineyard, their hometown of Clarendon, and the entire country of Jamaica,” Abdelnour wrote in the campaign.
The Times reached out to Abdelnour, but he was not immediately available for comment.