Community rallies around man injured in sawmill accident

The Ponce de Leon community showed an outpouring of love and support for a local man left with life-changing injuries in a sawmill accident at the Terry Yates Benefit held July 23.

Yates and his wife, Pat Yates, have faced new challenges as Yates was left with paralysis by the accident that occurred in March. In true Holmes County fashion, friends and relatives pitched in their time, food, talents, and donated items to raise funds to assist the couple as Yates continues to recover.

“The enormous size of the event and money raised was a true reflection of the lives that Terry and Pat have lived by giving of their time and talents to their friends and neighbors,” said Sabrina Gibbons, coordinator of the benefit.

All hands were on deck on that hot Saturday morning at Ponce de Leon Town Hall as friends went to work frying up hundreds of pounds of catfish, mullet, bream, french fries and hushpuppies assembled into lunch plates enjoyed by over 1,000 guests at the event.

Pastor Paul Davis kicked off the event with prayer. The day rolled on with country music entertainment by Nashville recording artist Dustin Herring and other talented vocals by Kiera Howell and Georgina Hicks.

“It felt like a community reunion, and even the rain and thunder could not damper the spirits of those who were there teaming up for Terry,” Gibbons said.

A silent auction and live auction were held throughout a successful event that raised thousands of dollars in support of Yates. The couple was overwhelmed with gratitude.

“Thanks for everything that was done and said for me,” Terry Yates said in a heartfelt recorded message of thanks to friends and family who came together to support him.

Yates will receive additional support as one of the recipients of the 5th Annual Seasons of Hope Outdoors Benefit Fishing Tournament scheduled for Sept. 16-17 in Panama City. For more information, call 850-630-8187.

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