(T-G Photo by Jason Reynolds) [Order this photo]
An estimated 500 to 600 people attended the benefit for Row McLaughlin at Blue Ribbon Circle club, his mother Jenny said. Organizers had to obtain more barbecue after food ran out; they had prepared meals for 400, she said.
"We thought it was awesome," Jenny said. "People had a great time. We felt incredibly honored the room was pretty much standing-room only," considering the wintry weather on Saturday. "It was completely mind-blowing."
The $35,000 estimate does not include other donations that have been made, Jenny said.
Dozens of items had been donated for a silent auction. Every donated item was sold, Jenny said. Organizers also sold T-shirts with a caption reading "Pray for Row."
Country star Darryl Worley played guitar and sang a collection of his No. 1 hits, including "Do You Remember." Jeff Jared accompanied Worley on guitar.
Row has chronic kidney disease, Jenny said. Although his condition is not technically a disease, the term is used for all patients in renal failure, she said. Row is awaiting a transplant at Vanderbilt Medical Center.
Row's surgery, which is expected to cost more than $1 million, is expected to occur this summer. Jenny and her husband Sam are both considered good potential donors and are waiting to learn which of them doctors will decide is the best match.
The McLaughlin family shows Tennessee Walking Horses and has close ties to that community, which is holding The Row McLaughlin & Greg Maupin Benefit Horse Show. That event will be at 6 p.m. on May 3 at the Agriculture Center.
Maupin is a 1989 Shelbyville Central High School graduate who needs a kidney transplant as well. The 9-year-old horse show was formerly known as the SCHS Band Show, among other names.
A benefit account has been set up for Row at Peoples Bank in Shelbyville. Make checks payable to Row McLaughlin. Or, donations may be mailed to Edgemont Baptist Church, 150 Fairfield Pike, Shelbyville, TN 37160. Donations are tax-deductible.