Florala raises $6K for victims’ families

Published 11:59 pm Monday, March 16, 2009

Florala residents raised more than $6,000 this weekend for the families of the Samson and Geneva shooting tragedy — bringing Covington County’s fund-raising total to more than $55,000.

Volunteers took to the roadways Friday and Saturday at the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 331 and Fifth Avenue, taking advantage of spring break travelers.

Mike Hughes, Florala resident and event organizer, couldn’t pin down a concrete reason for the drive.

“I don’t know why (we decided to do it),” Hughes said. “I just felt like it was the right thing to do. Andalusia was doing something, so I thought we should, too. It could have been us (in the tragedy). You just never know.

“I’m sure those families are going through a lot right now and can use all the help they can get. This is a little bit that we could do.”

Hughes, along with Robert Sasser, Gloria Cassidy, Mayor Robert Williamson, Susan Hattaway, Kimley Edwards, Bonnie Brown, Councilman Jimmy Waldrop, Jonathon Gallespie, Nach Gallaspie and Emory Anderson, collected $6,400 on Friday and Saturday.

That money was delivered Monday to WAAO owner Blaine Wilson who said the collection brought the overall total to “the neighborhood of $55,000.”

Wilson said the Saturday yard sale was cancelled due to the rain, but volunteers from Crossover Ministries and the Red Level softball team manned East Three Notch Street, the Winn-Dixie intersection and the Rite-Aid intersection with buckets to collect more money.

All the monies collected will be distributed among the victims’ families of last Tuesday’s tragedy in Samson and Geneva that left 12 dead.

“I never dreamed it would turn out like this,” Wilson said. “Our goal was $10,000. What we’ve accomplished here is just phenomenal.”