Westchester community raises $32K for private school security guard battling COVID

DOBBS FERRY, New York (WABC) -- A community in Westchester County is coming together to support the family of a school security guard battling the coronavirus.

In the close-knit community at the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry -- when one person is struggling, they rally around that person.

That's exactly what's happening right now with Panton Adams.

"He brings a sense of community and light to this place," Laura Danforth said.

Danforth is head of the school and tells Eyewitness News, Panton is a treasured member of the security team at the sprawling campus in Dobbs Ferry.

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"When Pan isn't with security, he's distributing mail, giving care packages to boarders, he's a beloved, beloved member of our community," Danforth.

But in late December, the 64-year-old was diagnosed with COVID-19 and is now critically ill on a ventilator and fighting for his life in the hospital.

The news has hit everyone here at the elite private school hard, including current students, alumni, parents, colleagues and friends.

"I've known Panton for eight years, since I came here in the 5th grade," student Logan Schiciano said.

Schiciano is now a senior and fondly remembers in middle school, Panton's bright smile each day he arrived at school.

"He'd be the one standing there greeting us, he knows everyone's name," Schiciano said.

They're getting regular updates posted on a GoFundMe page set up by a former student.

Right now, Panton is heavily sedated, but there was a glimmer of hope while his wife Crecencia was visiting him.

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He heard her voice and for a few minutes -- opened his eyes.

The initial goal of the GoFundMe was $5,000, but after a tremendous outpouring of support, that figure is more than $32,000.

"You have 5th graders who donated $5, to families who have known him since 2013," Danforth said.

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