PORT ALLEN, LA (WAFB) - Supporters in West Baton Rouge Parish held a fundraiser for recovering Southern football player Devon Gales.
They held a fundraiser Wednesday night at the West Baton Rouge Community Center to help his family cover medical bills. Gales is currently in rehab in Atlanta after suffering a spinal injury.
"Since he's been in Atlanta, the support of Georgia was just extraordinary. So we just want to do our part here in Baton Rouge, you know, Southern Jaguars go to Jags to do our parts to help out," said Melonie Pryer, one of the event attendees.
The event was organized by community members who knew Gales when he was a 10-year-old running for the Greater King David Track Club. He left a lasting impression on other track parents who wanted to help the family this holiday season.
"Devon was fearless as he is today. He ran some of the longer distances, and the shorter distances, but I remember Devon never complaining. He would always just get out there and do what the coach asked him to do," said Wilbert Ferdinand, one of the organizers.
Members of Gales' family were in attendance.
"I am so overjoyed and it's overwhelming to know that so many people care about Devon and support him and his family," said his grandmother Sedonia Deans.
Seans said Gales' parents and siblings are in Atlanta now to spend the holidays with the Jaguar football player.
"Devon is doing good. His spirits are very good. He's joking and acting silly like we usually do," she said.
All in all, the group aimed to raise more than $4,000. A ticket to the event, which included food, music and dancing, cost $33, which is the same as Gales' jersey number.
A fund was set up by the Southern University System to assist the family financially with travel and other expenses accrued while Devon is being treated in Georgia.
Donations can be made online at the Devon Gales Fund website or mailed to the following address:
Southern University System Foundation
c/o Devon Gales Fund
PO Box 9562
Baton Rouge, LA 70813