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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Community supports Connie Davis fundraiser

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Connie Davis and son Spencer speak with Donna and David Orr. David Orr is a double-lung transplant recipient. See more photos at http://www.t-g.com/gallery/16325/
(T-G Photo by Jason Reynolds)
The community turned out in force Saturday to show support for Connie Davis during a fundraiser at Champions Arena at the Celebration grounds.

Family and friends of Davis organized the benefit, which included a popular dunking booth, cornhole tournament, auction, dinner, live music and a "womanless" beauty pageant.

The event raised approximately $17,500, said Kim Nash, one of the many organizers. She did not have an estimated attendance as of press time.

"Everyone has given," Nash said. "It's been unreal. Everything was donated. This town is wonderful."

Davis is a single mother battling liver disease, a debilitating autoimmune disease known as primary biliary cirrhosis. She is awaiting a transplant.

She has recently been placed in the "A bracket," meaning she is among those at the top of the transplant list, said Rita Huffaker and Jennifer Bates.

Davis has not been feeling well lately, friends said, but she was at the event briefly.

Donna and David Orr were present with their booth to sign up organ donors; David is a double-lung transplant recipient. The family attends various events like this one to raise awareness.

"We got several sign-ups," Donna said. "We're definitely trying to get the word out to people to consider being a donor."

Members of the law enforcement and legal industry were there in force to support Davis, who has close ties to the community.

The dunking booth drew a large crowd throughout the afternoon, and the good-natured volunteers got soaked repeatedly -- often when the thrower decided to punch the lever to ensure a splash.

"We stand behind the community," said a soaked officer Tory Moore of the Shelbyville Police Department after he turned the dunking booth chair over to attorney Kelly Wilson.

Wilson's son, Ayden, 10, spent a little money to try to soak his father -- and got in a few free punches on the lever as well. For his part, Kelly Wilson got in a few good-natured taunts to encourage Ayden's efforts.

Detective Carol Jean of the Shelbyville police ran the dunking booth.

Other volunteers worked hard to keep people fed. Tony Smith, a cook, said they served 467 chicken leg quarters, 25 gallons of potatoes, 25 gallons of green beans and 540 rolls. Anita Fields and her adult daughters, Bonnye and Donnye, were among the volunteers who served the food; the ladies said they used to keep Davis' children at their nursery school.

Lisa Victory, another friend of Davis', said she was touched by the large turnout, and she knows Davis would be as well.

"I'm sure it means the world to her to have the community supporting her," Victory said.

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