Fundraiser held for victims of wreck

by Celia Shortt

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The Alvarado family at Saturday's fundraiser with Bugs4Christ, from left, Matthew Spencer, Brooke Spencer, Matthew Alvarado, Taylor Alvarado, Ferdinand Figueroa and Stacey Alvarado.

In August, the Alvarado family’s world was rocked when three of their children and a cousin were involved in a car accident.

Their cousin, Ferdinand Figueroa was driving a 1966 Volkswagen Beetle when it was rear-ended by a 1999 Nissan Pathfinder Aug. 3 in Grantville.

Figueroa and 13-year-old Matthew were injured and treated for broken bones. Fourteen-year-old Brooke sustained more severe injuries and had to undergo surgery on her face, jaw, and cheekbones. Twelve-year-old Taylor Alvarado had the worst injuries and was airlifted to the hospital from the accident.

Alvarado was put into a medically-induced coma and on life support. He received surgery to reduce swelling on his brain. His kidneys, liver, and gallbladder were damaged, and he had to undergo major facial reconstruction. He spent two months in the hospital before coming home.

In the time since the accident, the Alvarados — who live in Grantville — have received an outpouring of support from their friends and community.

“Grantville has done a lot for us,” said Stacey Alvarado, mother to Matthew, Brooke, and Taylor. “It’s just amazing what people do for you. Some of them don’t even know who you are. It’s amazing.”

This past weekend, Bugs4Christ Inc. and Georgia Dubs held a cruise-in car show fundraiser for the family at Smokey Road Middle School. Bugs4Christ is a nonprofit ministry, located in Gray, Georgia, which focuses on the restoration of vintage cars and mentoring young men. It has restored numerous cars and donates many finished projects to people in need.

This event included a car show, music, raffle, local vendors, barbecue plates and other food.

“We want to rally people around the family,” said Bugs4Christ Representative John Albrycht. “It was about encouraging this family and showing that God is here for them and there are people who have their back.”

“It’s awesome,” said Matt Alvarado, Taylor’s dad and Matthew and Brook’s step-father. “It’s unbelievable all these people showed up.”

“It’s overwhelming,” said Stacey. “It’s emotional seeing all these cars and knowing it’s all for us.”

“The support of the people is overwhelming,” said Figueroa. “I’m not from here, and their support for me and for my family has been overwhelming.”

Despite the rain on Saturday, more than 40 cars took part in the fundraiser, and more than $2,000 was raised for the Alvarados.

Since the accident, Matthew and Brook are doing well and have recovered enough to return to school. Taylor, however, still has a long road ahead of him. He is home and has rehabilitation sessions three days a week. Right now, he cannot attend school, but Stacey’s goal is for him to be able to go back to school the first of the year.





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