Benefit dinner planned for Tyler Simpson

CHESTER – Community support for Tyler Simpson, the teenage boy seriously injured in a car-pedestrian accident Nov. 18, continues to grow.

On Saturday, a benefit spaghetti dinner will be held for Team Tyler at the Fire House Bar & Grill, 652 Pyramus Road, next door to the Lawrenceville Volunteer Fire Department.

“All proceeds will be given to the family toward Tyler’s medical expenses,” said benefit organizer Robin Crowe, who works with one of Tyler’s cousins at the restaurant.

Crowe said she cleared the fundraiser with the family.

The benefit dinner will be served from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, with live entertainment beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets for the dinner are $8 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Cover charge for the concert is $5.

The dinner will include spaghetti with meatballs, salad, rolls with butter, a soft drink and dessert.

Music will be provided by Chad Squires, Brad Gibson, Kent Cox, Plan B, Coat Rack Life Jacket and Fred Ludovici and Mad River Men, with a special appearance by Dave Morgan. The performers are donating their time, Crowe said.

The event also will include a 50/50 drawing and a Chinese auction. Donations are still being accepted for the auction.

“We’ve gotten a lot of donations from area businesses,” Crowe said.

Around 4 p.m., an Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter will land in an area across the street from the restaurant, Crowe said.

It was an Air Evac Lifeteam crew that transported Simpson, 14, of Chester to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh following the accident in the 300 block of Carolina Avenue.

Simpson was crossing the street on Nov. 18 to meet some friends when he was struck by a trailer being pulled by a pickup truck. The Oak Glen Middle School eighth-grader suffered head and brain injuries and remains in critical condition in the hospital’s intensive care unit, said his aunt, Rachael Taylor of Chester.

Supporters have been raising money to defray the family’s medical expenses by selling Team Tyler T-shirts. More T-shirts have been ordered and are due to arrive soon, Taylor said. For monetary donations, an account has been set up at Huntington Bank, 241 Carolina Ave., Chester, WV 26034.

Organizers of Saturday’s fundraiser hope to serve 400 dinners, Crowe said.