'Wheels for Joshua' still in motion

Barnette family halfway to goal
By Rachel Robles, Lifestyles Editor | Apr 17, 2014
Photo by: Donated KARAOKE KING — Joshua Barnette holds the hand of Tom Curtis, director of the American Legion Riders. The Wheels for Joshua fundraiser held April 5 was a huge success.

The Wheels for Joshua Barnette fundraiser held Saturday, April 5, at Tuscola High School was a huge success.

“We were so overwhelmed with the amount of support the community showed Joshua,” said Mollie Ledford-Rathbone, Joshua’s aunt. “Joshua is still talking about the benefit. He is so overwhelmed with the love and support he received.”

The fundraiser featured a bike run, live music, karaoke — Joshua’s favorite — food, a silent auction, a bake sale, face painting, massages, and temporary tattoos and hair color.

In total, the event raised $5,900, which puts the family halfway towards their goal to purchase a much-needed wheelchair accessible van. Elmo even showed up to wish Joshua a happy 21st birthday, which happened to fall on the day of the fundraiser.

“As a family, we would like to thank the community for all its support,” said Ledford-Rathbone. “We would also like to thank the law enforcement and EMS personnel who helped; all the groups who preformed; everyone who volunteered their time; the cafeteria workers and janitors at Tuscola who came in and worked on their day off; all the bikers; Jeff from “Moonshiners;” all the businesses that donated; and the American Legion for the honor they bestowed on Joshua.”

The family will host a Gospel singing night at the end of May to raise the rest of the funds for the van and are still looking for a place to hold the event. Suggestions for venues may be given to DJ Barnette at 316-9188, or Ledford-Rathbone at 564-6366.

Those who wish to donate to the van fund may do so by depositing money at Champion Credit Union under the name “Darrell Barnette, Wheels for Joshie.” Visit the Facebook page, “Wheels for Joshua Barnette,” for more information about upcoming events.