With “Team LaFave” emblazoned across the backs of dozens of azure colored shirts, family, friends and acquaintances filed into the dining room of Sandhills Regional Medical Center Friday in support of a family and twins that were born three months early.
Since the birth of Maddox and Mason LaFave, volunteers from Richmond County and beyond have worked in a joint effort to raise money in support of Jenny and Jeff LaFave. The parents have spent nearly every day since early December with their children at Duke Hospital.
“It’s overwhelming,” said grandmother Susan Eason. “I just can’t thank people enough for supporting the event.”
By noon, a line of roughly 40 people were waiting for barbecue plates.
“I’m speechless,” said Jerry Eason, the twin’s grandfather said. “I just want to give one great big thank you to everyone.”
Volunteers from local police departments and friends of the family dedicated their time to work in the kitchen, deliver food and collect money. The donations will be deposited into a bank account to assist with the family’s bills.
“They’re absolutely wonderful people and I’ve never met anyone else like them,” said Kim Tew, a family friend of the LaFaves . “They’re as close to me and my husband as family.”
Around 2:30 p.m., Marc Baysek estimates that around 900 people have attended and purchased plates.
They expected around 300 more plates sold during the dinner hours.
Tew took on the task of selling “Team LaFave” t-shirts. They were laid out across a fold-out table at the front of the dining room.
Tew’s husband works with Jeff LaFave at the Pinehurst Police Department and said they’ve known the family for a little over a year.
“They’re such great people,” Tew said.
She planned to man the table until the end of the fundraiser at 7 p.m.
Since their birth, the twins have made considerable strides.
“They’re getting stronger every day,” Susan said.
Susan and Jerry Eason have been watching over the LaFave’s home in their absence and taking care of their pets.
“We plan to go back up there Sunday and see the twins,” Susan said. “So far we’ve only been able to touch their hands. Hopefully they’ll let us hold them.”
Staff writer Bryan Stewart can be reached at 997-3111 ext. 15 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.