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Hundreds show support for West Point Local

WEST POINT — When Cassandra Hutchinson’s family and friends made up their minds to hold a fundraiser for her, they expected to make enough money to offset some of the growing medical costs accrued by hospital care that was made necessary by a diabetic coma.

What they didn’t expect was over 200 people coming out to support Hutchinson’s cause.

“The people just started pouring in and we weren’t quite ready for that big crowd at the 12:30 hour,” Hutchinson’s cousin and event organizer Shirley Bailey said. “They were just lined up coming in through the door, one after the other. Somebody wanted eight plates, somebody wanted five, it was nonstop.”

The plates for purchase on Sunday, Aug. 5, contained barbecued chicken leg quarters, baked beans, cole slaw and bread that was served with a drink, all for $10. The food was cooked and prepared by Hutchinson’s family and friends, but those who purchased them were from all over the Greater Valley Area.

“It was just overwhelming to see how many people came out,” Bailey said. “We had every race, we had everybody. Little bitty children, older people, middle aged, we had everybody coming in. We thought $10 was going to be too much for a plate but we had no one complain about the price. As a matter of fact, we had people pay more than $10 for a plate or come by to give and not even buy a plate.”

The surge of support for Hutchinson brought in approximately $900 in the first two hours and over $1,500 once people finally stopped coming by at 10 p.m. Bailey said the money will be used for the medical costs but will also help family members visit her in the hospital and pay for Hutchinson’s young twins’ school supplies. An account has been set up at Capital City Bank for the money and any other donations that may come through for Hutchinson.

“It was overwhelming, really,” Bailey said. “You know, you never know how it’s going to be but people come through.”

Bailey said that some people who came by on Sunday donated extra baked beans and cooking utensils, and Givorns Foods even gave them a discounted price on the chicken.

Because the event was a huge success but Hutchinson is still in need of hospice care, Bailey said another fundraiser is already planned for Friday and Saturday of this week. On Aug. 10 and 11 at Emanuel Chapel CME Methodist Church in West Point, people wanting to enjoy a meal and help the cause can purchase chicken or catfish plates, drinks and smoked sausages.