As engines revved and dust clouds whipped around Big Nasty ATV Park Sunday, Mark Shelton fought back tears as he spoke of his appreciation of the community’s support since his son Logan was severely injured in a May 13 auto accident.
“I knew Logan was special to us,” he said. “But I had no idea that he’d touched so many people.”
Wesley White, 18, and his girlfriend Marie McBryde decided only two weeks before that they would organize a fundraiser for the Shelton family. They wanted it to be a big event and something that Logan would appreciate.
“Logan loved to ride four-wheelers,” said McBryde, “and we were all sitting around one day and said, ‘we need to raise money for this family,’ and what better way than to do something that he loves to do? That’s how we came up with the idea.”
More than 200 people from all over the area came out with their trucks, ATVs, dirt bikes and other various off-road vehicles for the “Ride for Logan” event at Big Nasty to support the Shelton family and, of course, to get a little dirty.
White said that he and Logan grew up together riding four-wheelers, playing baseball and through school.
“Mud bog, water ride, just normal stuff we do in Effingham,” White said of his rides with Logan.
“This is something Logan liked to do. He loved it, always went off road, we always rode around the house and a bunch of different things like that.”
In addition to the a four-wheeler ride on trails throughout the ATV park, there were truck and ATV mud-bogging contests, food and drinks for sale, a raffle, face painting, cornhole, an inflatable bounce house and bright green T-shirts for sale that read “I Road for Logan at Big Nasty” on the back.
All the items for sale and raffle were donated for the benefit. All proceeds from the day’s events and half of what was made at the gate will go to pay for Logan Shelton’s medical expenses and his eventual rehab.
“They hugged our necks and pretty much cried, and were like, ‘I can’t believe that we have this much love,’” McBryde said of when she and White told the Sheltons about their plan. “There’s a bunch of people doing stuff for them and donating money to them, but they couldn’t believe that somebody was hosting something big like this. They very much appreciated it.”
“We cried mostly,” said Mark Shelton. “The outpour of love and prayers from this community, it’s just awesome.”
Sunday was Logan’s 23rd day in the hospital, and his father said that although he’s still unconscious, the doctors are slowly taking him of sedatives and that his numbers were positive. He said that he doesn’t want to brag too much about the good stuff, but that his son was having a good day that day. “It’s a roller coaster ride that you don’t want to ride on,” he said.
“We believe in miracles and Logan’s going to be one,” he said.