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Local Donations Send Olympian's Dad To Sochi

HIGH-POINT, NC-- Heather Richardson's dad was able to go to Sochi to watch his daughter compete thanks to local donations.

Heather Richardson is the only Olympic athlete competing in Sochi from North Carolina.

Heather's parents have been planning and saving money the past four years for a trip to watch their daughter. It cost about $10,000 per spectator.

They only had enough money to send Heather's mom so Dad would have to watch from his couch in High Point.

WFMY News 2's Liz Crawford found out that all changed on Monday.

"There will be a lot of tears of joy," said Jeff Richardson.

Jeff Richardson has dedicated a lot of his life to helping his daughter live out a dream as a speed skater. Four years ago, both Jeff and his wife Pat were able to watch Heather compete in the Vancouver Olympics.

"For the past two years I've been working just hard, getting money together for my wife to go," said Richardson.

He worked two jobs, took out loans, and even dipped into his retirement savings. Even with all that, there was no way Jeff could afford to go too. That's until local High Point businesses stepped up.

"He needs to be over there with his daughter and his wife and the donations started pouring in," said Steve Ilderton, Vice President of Ilderton Conversion Company in High Point, where Jeff Richardson is employed.

Ilderton Conversion Company along with many others raised $10,000. High Point leader and businessman, Ed Price was the first to start the effort.

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