05/20/11 — Benefit planned for local family

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Benefit planned for local family

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on May 20, 2011 1:46 PM

It's been more than two years since 12-year-old Taylor Gambrel was struck by a car while riding his bike near the family's Elroy home.

And while he survived 190 days in a coma and completed extended therapies at home, one thing his family has not had to worry about was a place to live.

A few months after the accident that altered the life of the former eighth-grader at Eastern Wayne Middle School, a mother whose own son had experienced an uncertain future responded to the Gambrel family's plight.

Beverly Vinson of Goldsboro was a complete stranger. But her heart went out to the family. Two years before, in 2007, her teenage son, Brandon, was injured in a hunting accident and for a time was unable to walk.

When Mrs. Vinson learned of the Gambrel's situation and the anticipated challenge of Taylor being released while still requiring medical services -- at the time seven family members were living in a two-bedroom mobile home -- she was moved to take action.

She rallied her church, Daniels Memorial United Methodist, and others in the community, leading fundraisers and obtaining a double-wide mobile home located in the same school district so the Gambrel's other children wouldn't have to transfer. Renovations were also made to accommodate Taylor's special needs.

Taylor, now 14, still receives physical therapy twice a week and might resume speech therapy in the future. His mother, Cindy, also cares for him round the clock, in addition to caring for her three other children.

But there are still some outstanding debts on the mobile home, Mrs. Vinson said.

"We owe about $11,000," she said. "We're pushing to get this thing paid off.

"We had a private person that funded the money so we didn't have to go through the bank and we're anxious to pay that individual off."

The Malpass Brothers will perform a benefit concert this weekend to raise money for the Gambrel Fund, she said. The performance will be Sunday at 5 p.m. at Goldsboro High School. Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for students.

Tickets will be sold at the door, as well as at Daniels Memorial and sponsoring locations, including Jewelry Unlimited and Adams Roadside Barbecue.

Barbecue sandwiches and soft drinks will also be sold after the show, Mrs. Vinson said, and there will be a raffle to win a $250 gift certificate to Jewelry Unlimited.

For anyone unable to attend the concert and willing to make a donation, checks can be sent to Daniels Memorial United Methodist Church, 2802 E. Ash St., Goldsboro, NC 27530 and earmarked Gambrel Fund.

For more information, call Mrs. Vinson at 222-2387.