CHARLESTON, Maine — Nate Hallowell attended school with Nichole Cable from the time he was 5 years old.

Nate, 14, and his best friend Josh Willey, 13, both of Alton came to East Ridge Stable with Willey’s mother, Amanda Willey, on Saturday night to a fundraiser and candlelight vigil in memory of the slain 15-year-old.

“She was part of our community,” Nate said. “This is a loss to our community. To think that someone would do that …”

Josh described Nichole as quiet but “easy to talk to.” The boys and Nichole rode the bus to Old Town High School together.

“I didn’t really think much about it when she didn’t show up for school,” Nate said. “ We just thought she’d run away, but most people who run away aren’t gone that long. I got scared after she’d been missing a while. It could have been any one of us.”

Amanda Willey said that her own son and his friends now have a better understanding of “why we worry so much about them, why we need to know where they are and who they’re with.”

“I don’t feel like I’m not safe now, but I don’t want to hang out with the wrong people,” Nate said.

Police have charged 20-year-old Kyle Dube of Orono with knowing and intentional murder in connection with the girl’s May 12 disappearance. Hundreds of volunteers and law enforcement personnel searched for the missing girl for more than a week before her body was found in a wooded area of Old Town on May 20.

Gina Farrell of Brewer organized Saturday’s event, which was attended by about 60 people, most of whom had never heard of Nichole Cable until her mother issued an emotional plea through the media for the girl’s return.

Robin Corey, the owner of East Ridge Stable, offered the use of her facility. Corey said that she did not know Nichole or her family, but through a 4-H club knew children who went to school with the slain teenager.

Businesses such as Old Town Canoe, Waterfront Concerts, Cyr Bus Lines, Robert O. Cupcake Toys, several area restaurants and many others donated items for the raffle and auction, Farrell said Saturday.

“I think after such a terrible tragedy, people want to step up and do the right thing and help out.”

The proceeds from Saturday’s event were to go to the Nichole Cable Memorial Fund. Farrell said the family could use the money as it sees fit.

Nichole’s mother, Kristine Wiley, said Thursday that the fund would be used to help families who fall victim to similar tragedies, though specifics haven’t yet been decided. She said she wanted the fund to serve as “a legacy of Nichole to help other people.”

“We don’t ever want this to happen to anybody else,” she said.

Members of the slain girl’s family did not attend Saturday’s event.

Information about how much money was raised was not immediately available.

Another event, a spaghetti supper scheduled for 4:30-7 p.m. Friday at the Old Town Knights of Columbus Hall at 5 Gilman Falls Ave., will raise money for Nichole’s memorial fund. The meal will cost $5 per person and donations will be accepted, according to a Facebook post about the event. Any money not used to cover costs of the event will go to Nichole’s family. A candlelight vigil will be held in Riverfront Park immediately after the dinner.

Visiting hours for the girl were scheduled for 5-8 p.m. Sunday at Birmingham Funeral Home at 438 Main St. in Old Town. A funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Monday at Bangor Baptist Church at 1476 Broadway in Bangor.

She is survived by her mother, Kristine Wiley, stepfather Jason Wiley, father David Cable, brother David Cable Jr., sisters Annabelle Grace Wiley, Emma Jean Wiley and Julia Jane Wiley, as well as her grandparents and step-grandparents and several aunts and uncles, according to her obituary.

Several memorial funds have been established to benefit victims and create awareness of violent crimes, according to her obituary. Donations may be made at People’s Heritage Bank or Camden National Bank.