Family Fined $1,500 After Hundreds Show Up to Fundraiser for Sick Aunt

A family in Milford, Massachusetts, hosted a fundraiser for a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer, but police say more than 200 people showed up, some of whom were not wearing masks

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A Massachusetts family has been fined $1,500 after a fundraiser they held for an aunt's illness drew hundreds of people last weekend.

Police in Milford say photos show a gathering of 200 to 250 people, which health officials in town say could be a super-spreader of COVID-19.

"This is exactly the kind of thing that we wouldn't want to see, is a large gathering where people are not practicing their social distancing," said Jackie Murphy, the town's health director.

Police say when officers spoke to the homeowner about party-goers not wearing masks or practicing social distancing, he responded that they were "just having bingo and some food."

Jean Loja, the homeowner's son, says the gathering was a sports fundraiser for his aunt.

"The Ecuadorian community loves to play volleyball, and all the funds and all the earnings were going to go to my aunt, who was just recently diagnosed with cancer," he said.

Maria Loga was diagnosed with breast cancer in July. She said she was happy when people showed up and donated to help.

"Taking care of the people that we love, who are ill, is something that we can all get on board with," said Murphy. "I might suggest that during a pandemic, there are other ways to go about doing that."

After posting the event on Facebook, the Loga family didn't anticipate such a large crowd.

"We made sure everyone came in with the mask, but some people just didn't want to cooperate with us, and some people were just wandering around without masks," Jean Loga said.

The family received a fine of $1,500, which it says it plans on paying.

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