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Car and truck show raises funds to help accident victim

October 31, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

HAGERSTOWN -- Janel Anthony and six of her classmates enrolled in the Legal Environment of Business class at Hagerstown Community College might have earned an A-plus for their "business-like venture" for charity project on Saturday.

But after about six weeks of organizing and promoting their car and truck show at LifeHouse Bethel church, the only thing that really mattered was raising the most amount of money they could for David Greeley.

David, 9, of Fairplay, was struck by a car in August while riding his bicycle on Jordan Road and still is hospitalized in Baltimore.

"The community's really come together and helped us out a lot," Anthony said.

The combined efforts of Anthony, Justin Gildar, Robert Needy, Tyrone Wheeler, Robert Blackburn, Brittany Hebb and Trista Morris raised $1,119.54 from the show, which attracted more than 40 vehicles.

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David's parents, Tahnee and Scott Greeley, said they continue to be amazed by the community support they have received since the accident.

"I think we're lucky to live where we live," Scott Greeley said.

"The community's just been awesome," Tahnee Greeley added.

Scott Greeley said David, who is about to start physical and occupational therapy, has a good attitude and has been resilient throughout his recovery from multiple injuries. His left leg was amputated at mid-shin, and his other injuries included a broken jaw and left arm and fractures to his skull and right leg.

"He's got a long road yet," Tahnee Greeley said.

David is learning how to talk again, and staff at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore have started giving him soft foods to eat, she said.

Once an insurance hang-up is worked out, the boy will be fitted with a prosthetic, according to his parents.

The entire ordeal has been difficult for the boy's grandmother, Karen Greeley, who regularly has been posting updates about the child's progress at www.caringbridge.org/visit/davidgreeley for the boy's friends and family.

"It usually takes me a lot of tissues to get through, but I do it," Karen Greeley said. "It's getting a little easier because he's getting better."

Since she started posting, there have been more than 19,000 visitors to the site and more than 700 guest-book messages have been posted, Karen Greeley said.

The outpouring of support has been an eye-opener for Karen Greeley, who said she had "no clue" how awesome the community is.

Car show winner Karen Jackson of Boonsboro said her husband, Rockie, was the first to register online for the event, but he was unable to attend the show with their 1969 "bumblebee" Chevrolet Camaro Z28 because he was called to work Friday in Frederick, Md.

While Karen Jackson said she doesn't usually drive the yellow, black-striped car, she said she was determined to bring the vehicle and support the fundraiser. Her oldest daughter graduated with David Greeley's mother, she said.

Leery of backing her husband's car into the church lot to park it for the show, Jackson said she had someone else do it for her.

"They had to put the hood up because I couldn't figure that out, either," said Jackson, laughing before she was announced as the winner.

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