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Friends and family remember a comedian who was taken too soon

Friends, family and the community are gathering to honor Tou Ger Xiong
Friends, family and the community are gathering to honor Tou Ger Xiong 01:55

MINNEAPOLIS — Hundreds of people packed East Ridge Highschool Gymnasium in Woodbury to remember a prominent Hmong-American and Minnesotan taken too soon.

Tou Ger was kidnapped and killed in Colombia earlier this month after being held for ransom.

Tou Ger was born in Laos in 1973, he wrote on his website. He and his family fled to the United States when he was a young boy and landed in St. Paul, where he graduated valedictorian from Humboldt High School. He went on to receive a degree from Carleton College.

Saturday, the Xiong family wanted to remember the impact Tou Ger had on the community.

Many people wore pink shirts because that was his favorite color and his way of standing out.

Eh Xiong, Tou's brother, says he misses his laughter and goofiness.

"To me he'll always be my little brother," Eh said.

It was evident he was loved by many for being an incredible storyteller and fearless leader.

"He's truly someone who can bridge cultures and say, hey get to know my culture and I want to get to know your culture,' Eh smiled.

Tou Ger's family says he used humor and a captivating personality to fight for change and share Hmong culture with everyone.

Including at the Great Minnesota Get Together where Tou founded "Hmong Day" at the State Fair.

Several elected leaders including Senator Amy Klobuchar remembered Tou's impact saying he had a mind full of ideas and heart full of love.

"His impact will be felt for generation to come," Klobuchar added.

Through his life's work and now the Tou Ger Xiong endowment Fund.

"This money will go towards helping domestic prevention to help scholarships for young people and fight injustice."

Fighting for justice and his community, one laugh and smile at a time.

"We are so proud of my brother," Eh smiled.

The family is hoping to raise $200,000 for the Tou Ger Xiong endowment fund. For more information, click here.

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