Fundraiser provides a car for the Bonner family
GRASONVILLE — The community turned out to support the Lifesavers Unite for Brittany’s Angels fundraiser, sponsored by First Light for First Responders and The Jetty Restaurant and Dock Bar, on June 15, at the restaurant. The event was a benefit for the family of a local first responder who died in a terrible traffic crash in May.
Queen Anne-Hillsboro Volunteer Fire Company member Brittany Plumer, 27, of Queen Anne was killed and two of her children critically injured May 17 when a garbage truck crossed the center line and struck their car head-on on Harmony Road in Caroline County. She left behind her fiancé Brandon Bonner and their five children. The crash also destroyed the family’s only means of transportation.
Organizers Justin Davis, founder and president of First Light for First Responders, Justin Kiernan, general manager at The Jetty, and KeriAnne and Blaine Slacum were all pleased with the turnout.
“It was just such a touching story, such a heartbreaking story,” Kiernan said. The Jetty was one of the places the couple liked to hang out; when Davis approached him about the fundraiser, Kiernan said he didn’t hesitate to talk to the owner, Ron Sartain, who gave it his blessing. The Jetty even donated a portion of evening’s food and drink proceeds to the cause.
“So many people donated, and it was one of the best turnouts I’ve seen,” Kiernan said, and he’s been there since 2001.
Raffle prizes and silent auction items were generously donated by local individuals and businesses, Davis said. There was also a 50/50 raffle and drop buckets and firefighter boots for collecting donations. Davis emceed the event and provided music until popular local band Hot Tub Limo took the stage at 8:30 p.m.
The event raised enough money to provide a reliable vehicle for transportation that would fit the whole family. Davis conspired with Brandon Bonner’s mom Carolyn to meet him at The Jetty on July 20.
He asked Bonner to come outside with him, where they were joined by Kiernan and Adam Britt, and Davis presented him with the keys to a used Ford Explorer XLT with third row seating. He said proceeds from the fundraiser purchased the vehicle, including taxes, tags and inspection, plus two years membership in AAA. Plans are in the works to install a new radio with hands-free GPS navigation and Bluetooth, plus televisions for the kids.
Bonner was overwhelmed, thanking him and saying how much he appreciated everything. Three of the children climbed in to check it out.
Davis told Bonner they wanted him to be able to get to and from work, transport the children and travel to and from medical appointments with 3-year-old Colton, who has numerous surgeries still ahead of him.
The presentation almost didn’t happen that day, Davis said, after an area car dealer who had been working with him was unable to accommodate the schedule at the last minute. But Britt, who is retired from the car business, stepped in and used his contacts to find a replacement.
KeriAnne and Blaine Slacum really worked their butts off along with their kids to make everything a success, Davis said. In addition to them, Kiernan and Britt, others helping with the fundraiser included Willis Tire, Robbie’s 1st Base, Berrang Motors, Heather and Bernie Edwards and Jennifer Paul, he said.
“To help out, that’s what it’s all about. To see the smile, take away a little bit of the pain,” Kiernan said.
First Light is always looking to help and for help, Davis said. Anyone interested in getting involved can find more information on the First Light for First Responders website, www.flffr.org, or on the organization’s Facebook page.
The next First Light for First Responders event will be the 17th annual 9/11 Salute to Heroes on Sept. 11.
A recent fundraiser at The Jetty made it possible to provide a vehicle for the Bonner family. From left, Adam Britt, Brandon Bonner, Caleb Bonner, Mackenzie Bonner, Gage Bonner, Justin Davis and Justin Kiernan.