Washington column for Aug. 25

A caring community

We weren’t made to keep everything to ourselves. We are a community, with love, sharing and helping those who are in need — including Gary Jenkins Jr., the young emergency responder who sustained serious spinal-cord injuries while on a call last month.

A car wash by Gary’s former coaches, teammates and their parents took place Aug. 13 at the Washington fire hall, a huge success according to Amy Hitt. There were around 200 people throughout the day, Hitt said, and about 50 cars were washed. It took caring people to give up a part of their weekend to come out in the heat to support this event. It was a way of giving back to someone in our community who has given so much.

If it wasn’t for caring people, we couldn’t done this. It’s was their willingness, strength and love to help made this possible. The amount of money they raised on Saturday, was $8,760.15 for Gary. It’s was an answer to prayers. Communities grow stronger when everyone pull together and helps those in need.

Hitt writes: “Special thanks to all our coaches (Mike Atkins, Middy Midkiff, Jeff Atkins, Hodge Miller and Jim Racer); parents (Jennifer Atkins, Jill Atkins, Amy Midkiff, Amy Hitt, Steph Beard, Randy and Kelly Bennett, Kathy McNitt and Wayne Dodson). The current student athletes of baseball, basketball, football and wrestling. They worked until their feet were ready to fall off both at the car wash and at the Jenkins’ house. Thanks to the gracious, loving heart of Eva Payne and her MVP Amusements we had a moon bounce and dunking booth. Participants were able to dunk the coaches Mike Atkins and Middy Midkiff. Special thanks to Jim and Camille Racer of Racer Construction for building the deck and ramp for Gary to be able to use; and to Terry Robey for getting the concrete pad done.”

While volunteers from Habitat for Humanity have started to reconstruct Gary Jenkins Jr.'s bedroom, doorways and bath to make them more accessible, Racer Construction members have volunteered to build the ramp, with materials donated by MWP in Madison, Rappahannock CFC and Simpson Strong Tie. John and Beverly Sullivan and Bill and Sarah Walton made generous contributions to the cost of materials not donated. Shown here at the ramp are (from left) Josh Bennett, Josh Racer, Brian Kritz, Jim Racer and Brian Compton (not pictured: Justin Ramey).By Camille Racer
While volunteers from Habitat for Humanity have started to reconstruct Gary Jenkins Jr.’s bedroom, doorways and bath to make them more accessible, Racer Construction members have volunteered to build the ramp, with materials donated by MWP in Madison, Rappahannock CFC and Simpson Strong Tie. John and Beverly Sullivan and Bill and Sarah Walton made generous contributions to the cost of materials not donated. Shown here at the ramp are (from left) Josh Bennett, Josh Racer, Brian Kritz, Jim Racer and Brian Compton (not pictured: Justin Ramey).

The corn hole tournament was a success; Joey and Tony Nicholson were the winners.

Flint Hill Public House reported that a fundraiser for Gary Jenkins’ family was also a success. Not only did friends and neighbors fill the dining room (as 20 percent of prime rib sales Friday and Sunday were donated to Washington Volunteer Fire Department Fund for Gary), Flint Hill Public House also had customers reach out to them from as far away as Germany to ask how they, too, could help.

“We feel very honored to be a part of such a special community and are proud to announce that the management team and staff of the Flint Hill Public House have decided to match the total amount raised this weekend dollar for dollar,” the restaurant announced. “A check for $630 is currently en route to the Washington Volunteer Fire Department.”

On a happy note: Gary Jenkins made it back home last Thursday (Aug. 18). According to Linda Baldwin, he is improving some each day. Let’s continue to keep him in our prayers.

Bluegrass family fundraiser

Also, a bluegrass family event to benefit Gary Jenkins Jr. is planned for Sept. 24 at the Washington fire hall grounds, featuring an Amazing Grace the Mule show with Steve Foster at 4 p.m., and, from 6 to 10 p.m., Riverbend Bluegrass Gospel from Culpeper, Traveling Pilgrims from Upperville, Virginia Gospel Singers from Spotsylvania and the Hurt Hollow Band from Madison. There are raffles for prizes including a Husqvarna weed-eater and leaf blower, Greg Williams Tree Service gift certificates, two guns and more. Proceeds of WVFRD’s food and drink sales will benefit Gary. Entry is $10 per car, including a ticket for door prize drawing. Raffle tickets are $10 (or three for $25). Bring your blanket or a chair and enjoy the bluegrass under the stars. For more information, contact Junior and Michelle Jenkins at 540-671-3337 or 540-522-1774. Gates open at 1 p.m. Rain or shine event.

Condolences

Condolences goes out to Rosalie Virginia Atkins’ family. Rosalie, 85, of Flint Hill, passed away on Saturday (Aug. 20) at Lynn Care in Front Royal. Funeral services were held Wednesday (Aug. 24) at Maddox Funeral Home, with Pastor Dan Rogers and Rev. Jim Payne officiating. Burial followed at Flint Hill Cemetery.

Rosalie retired from the Aileen factory and was a member of Trinity Brethren Church in Fort Valley. She also attended and served as organist for both the Flint Hill Baptist Church and the Blue Ridge Community Bible Church.

Birthday wishes

Happy day to Loring Anderson Jr., who celebrates his 80th birthday on Sunday (Aug. 28).

Whenever he would drive by the newspaper office, Loring would always blow his horn at us, and I knew he was on his way to the family farm or on his way home. Happy birthday, Loring! May you have many more.

Enjoy the nice weather this week.

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