Benefit helps hurricane survivor

Published 10:09 am Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A gospel show and fundraiser for Justin Watson, a survivor of Hurricane Michael whose father and grandmother were claimed by the storm, was held Saturday in Farmville at the Robert Russa Moton Museum.

Justin Watson

Michael, which became a tropical storm when it reached Virginia, left devastating impacts on the state, resulting in the deaths of Watson’s grandmother and father, who lived in Charlotte County and were swept away from floodwaters generated by the storm at Mt. Harmony Road.

Cora and James Cook’s desire to help the 17-year-old student resulted in the idea to hold a fundraiser, and was met with an overwhelming outpouring of community support.

The gospel show included performances from Alston Jones, Aijuel Redd, The Committed Gospel Singers, The Gospel Traveliers, The Gospel Tears and The Revelations Gospel Singers.

Angela Cook, Angela Brown, and Shirley and Randy Searles also participated in the show.

Cora said sponsors provided enormous community support, including representatives of Hawthorne & Hawthorne in Farmville, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the WHM construction company. She said Longwood University and the museum provided the venue at no charge, the performers sang at no charge, and Farmville Printing printed the flyers at no charge.

Cora said Watson is a straight-A student and is expected to graduate from high school this year.

Cora said this will not be the last fundraiser for Watson, and organizers are planning one at a later date.

She said those who are interested in helping Watson can deposit funds into an account at Benchmark Community Bank. Funds can be donated at any Benchmark Community Bank. To contact the banks in Farmville, call (434) 392-9528 or (434) 392-9088, or visit the Farmville bank locations at 1577 S. Main St. or 203 E. Third St. Unit C.