Several local businesses are joining together this weekend to help the wife of a Paulding County Sheriff’s deputy.
Renae Hudgens, the wife of Sgt. Mitch Hudgens, is suffering from a “rare disease,” and the couple has incurred $20,000 in medical bills, said Tammy Dobson, whose husband, Rodney, owns Rodney’s Bar-B-Que and Catering.
“(Mitch) is a good customer of ours,” Dobson said. “He was talking to us about all the medical bills and said that insurance didn’t cover it. I felt compelled to do something.”
So, Dobson decided to put together a fundraiser for the Hudgens’. However, she said she didn’t expect it to grow into a block party event that now involves several other surrounding businesses.
“It’s really exploded,” she said.
The Day for Renae Hudgens Block Party will feature food, craft vendors, a monster truck show, rolling video games, pony rides, bingo games, a dunking booth, a bounce house, live musical entertainment by JK + the Gun Show and Man Made, and a 65-mile motorcycle ride sponsored by the American Legion. Meal plates from Rodney’s Bar-B-Que will be sold for $7, and patrons can purchase tickets for all other activities except for the video games at the block party entrance. Those who participate in the motorcycle ride and donate $30 will get a T-shirt and meal plate.
In addition to the planned events, those attending the fundraiser can purchase T-shirts for $15.
Dobson said she has held fundraisers in the past for Cops 4 Kids but that none have ever been as big as Saturday’s event is expected to be.
“I’m very shocked at how big this has gotten,” she said. “It’s wonderful to me that the whole community can come together and do something for this deputy.”
Dobson said she hopes to raise $10,000 for Renae Hudgens, who has the opportunity to travel to Germany for an experimental drug treatment.
“There are still a lot of expenses that they can incur,” Dobson said.
The Hudgens’ are overwhelmed at the response to the fundraiser.
“They’re beyond words,” Dobson said. “(Mitch) doesn’t know what to say. He tears up.”
The Day for Renae Hudgens Block Party is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The motorcycle ride and rolling video games begin at 11 a.m. J.K. + the Gun Show will perform from 10 a.m. to noon, and Man Made will take the stage at 1 p.m.
For information on sponsorship or booth space at the event, email email@example.com.