Sneaker artist hosts 24-hour live fundraiser for teen wounded in West Valley shooting

Jan 21, 2022, 6:21 AM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 6:17 pm

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — In the aftermath of a shooting that left two teens dead and a third in the hospital, an around-the-clock fundraiser was underway Thursday evening to help the survivor and his family.

Artist Jonathan Millar began livestreaming on Instagram at 6 p.m. Thursday, painting custom sneakers while raffling off donated goods to benefit the family of Ephraim Asiata, who remained hospitalized.

He hoped to complete 37 custom pairs by the end of the 24 hours as he invited numerous fellow artists, athletes and other special guests.

Millar said he had been close with the family for some time.


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A post shared by Jonathan Millar (@jsm_801_customs)

“We’ve been friends with Matt Asiata and his family for years,” Millar said. “We’ve always (collaborated). He does a local football camp here for the kids, it’s free to all the kids and we donate cleats for kids and stuff like that. He was the first one to give me the opportunity to start painting cleats inside the NFL, so he’s a very special friend, very close and we’ve grown very close with his family.”

Millar said he was heartbroken when he learned about the shooting and that Ephraim had been shot.

“I think we did what any family friends would do — we prayed for Ephraim to pull through,” he said. “It was awful, horrible news, so we knew with what we do we planned on doing something like this for the Asiata family.

Among the promised guests on Millar’s livestream were former Utah Jazz player Deron Williams and retired Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando.

Asiata briefly popped on the live stream from his son’s hospital room.

“We’re a family of few words — we just show up,” he said. “We just want to say we appreciate everything you guys have done.”

Millar said he hoped to present the family with a check soon and he was grateful for the support he had seen already on the live stream.

“I knew that my people here would show up and take care of their own,” Millar said. “It’s just very heartwarming for me.”

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Sneaker artist hosts 24-hour live fundraiser for teen wounded in West Valley shooting