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Family of Paralyzed Crash Victim Planning Fundraiser

Charmaine Richardson gave birth to a baby boy just two months after the accident, and her family hopes this special event helps cover some expenses.

On Dec. 3, a pregnant Charmaine Richardson was driving home from nursing classes when her Honda Accord was split in half during .

The accident caused a tear in Richardon’s liver, damaged her spinal cord and . Three months later on St. Patrick’s Day, the Harwood resident gave birth to a healthy baby boy and gave him the appropriate middle name, Miracle. 

Since that day, Richardson has been raising her new son, her 3-year-old daughter, and teaching her family about the meaning of toughness.

“She’s coping with it all a lot better than I would have,” said Joe Wright, Richardson’s uncle. “Everything happens for a reason. It’s what you learn from it that defines you. She’s amazing.”

Following the accident and Richardson’s return home, Wright said businesses, neighbors and even strangers came to the family’s aid in renovating her house to become wheelchair accessible.

“Home Depot and Griffith Oil in Edgewater, they were huge,” Wright said. “They came out and fixed the furnace, the air conditioning, they really went above and beyond. Home Depot sent guys out to build the handicap ramp, all the flooring, they were totally amazing.”

As an immediate “thank you” to those who helped, Wright and his family threw a miniature party for the community. However, Wright said he always wanted to do something “big” to show his appreciation and raise financial support for his niece. That’s why on Aug. 18, Wright and his family are hosting a massive “Family Day Benefit” event to help Richardson and another local resident paralyzed during an ATV accident.

From noon to 5 p.m. at Serenity Farms overlooking the Patuxent River in Benedict, MD, the community is invited to partake in music, games, food and fun in a festival-like atmosphere. All the proceeds will be split, half for Richardson and half for Brent Jones, a Prince Frederick County volunteer firefighter who was paralyzed in 2010 during an ATV accident.

Wright said the family has rented the entire farm so that residents can enjoy live music from Sam Grow Band, The Piranhas, One Louder and activities including horseshoes, face painting, a petting zoo and a corn hole tournament. But in order for the day to be a success, Wright said he needs help from local businesses.

“The bands we got offered to play for no charge, but it cost us $2,600 just to rent the farm. We have to cover our cost before any money goes to medical bills and expenses for either Charmaine or Brent,” Wright said. “This is hard. My sister and I, we go out after work and on weekends asking for donations. There have been some businesses that have helped, but not many. This is really a grassroots kind of thing. We really need water and ice too, it’s going to be hot.”

Adam Crewey, a Griffith Oil employee, helped renovate Richardson’s house and said he plans to attend the Family Day Benefit event.

“I feel very lucky to have met her family and friends—a great group of people with such big hearts,” Crewey said. “It’s going to be a good family event with some good entertainment and all the proceeds go to a great cause.”

Tickets to the event can be ordered in advance for $25 for a family of four, or $35 at the door. Tickets for single individuals are $15. For those wishing to buy tickets or get involved in sponsoring part of the event, call Joe Wright at 240-381-4752.

Do you plan on attending the Family Day Benefit on Aug. 18?

Jan Gratz August 10, 2012 at 12:34 PM
For those of us who can't attend, can we send money to a local bank for donations to the family?
Jonathan Moynihan (Editor) August 10, 2012 at 01:18 PM
I don't know about anything with a local bank, but I know Joe Wright will be the right guy to call. He will be able to answer your question.
Nicki burch August 12, 2012 at 11:45 PM
How can I donate food and drinks? Please email me @ nickib2114@gmail
Joe Wright August 13, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Jan Gratz- thank u for reaching out, we do have an account open at Bank of America to accept donations please do not hesitate to contact me so We can talk and I can get u the info.. Joe 240-381-4752 oe email lucky32__@hotmail.com ( that is two underscore after the 32) thank u again for your interest
Joe Wright August 13, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Nicki Burch- I just sent u an email thank you for reaching out to us
Joyce Mills August 14, 2012 at 10:54 AM
I am the mom of Charmaine Richardson and really want to say thank you to everyone that has been on this long journey with us. EVERYONE has been so amazing. Just to update everyone a little on Charmaine, she has returned back to school (the same school she was on her way home from that Dec. 3rd that changed all of our lives) and she says she is determined to finish what she started there, and that is to get her nursing degree. We are waiting for the paper work to go through for Kennedy Kreiger in Baltimore because she is determined to attend aggressive therapy because she is determined to prove the Dr.'s wrong because she says she WILL walk again. (even if it is in braces) She has enrolled her 2 year old little girl into dance classes and early school. She is amazing and strong willed. The lady that hit her, Pamela Dittmar from Severna Park, will be in court on September 12th for her "PAYABLE FINES" a total of 980.00 is all she gets out of this and she is fighting that!! But we will be there that day as well if only to give her an eye opener of the lives she has changed forever. Sadly, Pamela Dittmar has not even so much as offered my daughter and help through this and even more disturbing, she has never so much as offered my daughter an apology. She sill get her day though, God works in his own time. But again, thank you all for the support and prayers that is getting my daughter through this journey....

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