By Jan White
GRAPELAND – Friends, family, and coworkers banded together to hold a fundraiser for the family of Parker Beavers, a teen who passed away on April 19 due to injuries sustained in a car accident. The event was held at the City Park in Grapeland on Saturday, April 30. In homage to Parker, purple balloons and tablecloths (Parker’s favorite color) decorated the pavilion.
Fundraising events included a bake sale, lemonade stand, smoked chicken plates, a silent auction, and a live auction. A live band entertained attendees while several teams competed in the cornhole tournament. Also available were raffle tickets to win a Pit Boss Pro Series Pellet Grill.
In a live Facebook video, Travis Lively remarked that this was “…a celebration. It’s not a somber moment. It’s not a sad event. It’s a celebration of this young lady and the life she led and the people she’s touched.”
One of the event coordinators, Kim Langford, explained why they wanted to hold the fundraiser. Parker’s father, Tony Beavers, is an employee of Darling Industries’ poultry conversion facility, located in Grapeland. Several Darling employees who helped coordinate and contribute to the event stated that they’d worked together since the plant opened almost four years ago. “We’re like family. And you support your family.” Langford expressed her thanks to all the small businesses that gave gift baskets and gift certificates. “So many people went above and beyond – Band Reeves, Nicole Sinclair, Travis and Ashley Lively, Ansel Bradshaw, Ann Walker, Jason Pennington, Jeff Redd, KJ Johnson, Veronica Wheeler, Tommy Johnson and so many others.”
Other Houston County groups have also held fundraising events like the car wash and bake sale sponsored by Latexo High School Beta Club in conjunction with O’Reilly Auto Parts.