(Franklin) — The Heard County community has rallied in a big way over the last few weeks to help raise money for local school teacher Ginger Stutts, who is facing a difficult battle with cancer.
Two of the biggest fundraisers over the past couple of weekends have been especially successful in raising over $16,000 to help the Centralhatchee teacher and her family with mounting costs for travel, treatments, and other expenses.
Stutts has taught in Heard County schools for over 28 years including middle grades, music for three years, and second through fifth grade for the last six plus years. She has always been especially popular and loved by her students.
The largest of the fundraising events was the “Zumbathon” which took place in the Centralhatchee gymnasium last Saturday and raised over $11,300 and counting.
Zumba instructor Danielle Thompson organized the event and says the donations are still rolling in meaning the final total will be even higher. Over 50 people took part in the Zumba portion of the event entitled “Shake and Shimmy for Ginger.”
The Zumba lasted for about three hours and also featured nearly a dozen vendors as well as a performance by the Heard High School varsity cheerleaders. The kids that attended were entertained by kids corner which included a jumper/slide, cotton candy, face painting, popcorn, and snow cones.
“I just want to send out a huge thank you to the Heard and Carroll County communities for their great support of this year’s Zumbathon,” said Thompson. “With all the bad in the world it’s comforting to know there’s still good out there.”
This was the 5th consecutive year for Thompson’s Zumbathon charity event which donates to a different worthy cause each year.
“We feel incredibly thankful and humbled to be loved by our community like this,” said Ginger Stutts. “I can’t even comprehend this kind of generosity — we are just in awe.”
Another big fundraiser for Stutts was an Origami Owl/ Silent Auction event held Saturday, August 16 at the Franklin Community Center. This event was organized by Katie Storm Meadows and was also very successful raising over $4400 for the Stutts family.
“Ginger has always been such a sweet person. She’s touched so many lives as a teacher and in church,” said Katie Storm Meadows. “When I heard they were traveling back and forth to Texas for her treatment I wanted to raise money to help her. Insurance only pays so much. I knew they would have many more expenses.”
According to Meadows there were many people who helped with the fundraiser but it would not have happened without the hard work of Joanne Storm , Cutine Barber and Angie Mock.
“The community has been just amazing. When I think about all the support my mom has from our friends, family, and community, I am left completely speechless,” said Ginger’s daughter Katy Stutts.
“Thank you Danielle Thompson and Katie Meadows for having such hearts to serve and for making it so much fun, you are a blessing to all of us. And thank you to everyone who helped in any way, you all are what keeps my mom and our family going! We love each and every one of you!”