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Putting fun in fundraiser
Lovetts draws a crowd for sugar refinery explosion victims
Brody Corley
Brody Corley takes his balloon sword and heads into the mouth of an inflatable dragon. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

On a warm early Saturday in May, Becky Reece painted the faces and arms of children in the parking lot of Lovett’s Tradin’ Post in Rincon.

On the night of Feb. 7, the Bloomingdale Fire Department volunteer firefighter was one of dozens of rescue workers summoned to the Imperial Sugar refinery in Port Wentworth after an explosion ripped through it.

“We train for stuff like that all the time,” Reece said. “But it’s a good thing we train for stuff like that.”

Reece, like so many other firefighters, spent several nights at the Imperial Sugar refinery after the blast trying to quell the flames there. She was painting faces for kids as part of the Imperial Sugar relief fundraiser sponsored and staged by Lovett’s.

“The fun part is out here,” Reece said, “helping everybody, helping the families and making all the kids happy.”

Also part of Saturday’s events were 14-year-old country singer Moriah Martin of Loganville, Ginger and the Party Troopers, Cowboys Country Review, a silent auction and a Red Cross blood drive. The blood drive hit its goal of 40 units, according to Cathy Pruitt of Lovett’s.

One of the donors Saturday was U.S. Rep. John Barrow (D-Savannah).

Pruitt hasn’t tallied how much money was collected from Saturday’s fundraiser. She is planning another such event May 25 that also will have the Matt Kenseth Carhartt show car.

“We had a good turnout,” she said. “I just want to say a big ‘thank you’ to everybody who helped and came out, a big ‘thank you’ to all the volunteers and all the helping hands, everybody who went above and beyond the call of duty.”

Another of the Imperial Sugar patients was discharged from Doctors Hospital over the weekend, making it 10 victims who have been sent home from the hospital. The Joseph M. Still Burn Center initially received 20 patients hurt in the Feb. 7 explosion and fire at the sugar refinery in Port Wentworth.

Three patients are in critical condition at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center and two are in good condition at the rehab unit.

“It’s still very much on the minds of people around here,” Pruitt said of the sugar refinery explosion.