07/14/06 — Pizza party nets $800 for family

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Pizza party nets $800 for family

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 14, 2006 1:49 PM

Close to $800 was raised Thursday night for the family of a Greenwood Middle School student recovering from injuries sustained after being hit by a car nearly eight months ago.

"It was great," said D.J. Coles, youth minister at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base chapel and one of the organizers of the fundraiser held at Pizza Inn on Ash Street. "My gracious, there were people coming in groups of 12, eights and sixes. I would say there were probably well over 400 people there."

From 5:30 until 9 p.m., 10 percent of the proceeds collected by the business were earmarked for the family of Carson Thomas, an eighth-grader at the time of his accident. Carson still requires the use of a wheelchair and receives rehabilitative therapies at home.

"We got over $560 in tips and then we got $180 that we made from the sales," Coles said, adding that he wouldn't be surprised if more donations pour in.

In addition to the crowd, Coles said about 22 members of his youth group turned out to work as waitresses, servers and to bus tables. Four adults from the chapel also volunteered.

"The base support was great, and there were also students and teachers from Greenwood," he said.

At around 7, the Thomas family arrived, Coles said.

"It was such a grand entrance. When they walked in, it was like time stopped," he said. "Carson raised his right hand as if to wave to me and when I grabbed his hand, he squeezed my hand."

The family stayed for quite a while, he said, with an outpouring of support shown by those in attendance.

"People were coming up, saying they were praying for them," he said. "A lot of people just came up and embraced them.

"I'm proud of Goldsboro for coming out and supporting this family."