After several months of a fundraising drive, the Georgia Republican Party was able to donate $7,217.00 to the Bowen Story Fund. The local organization is dedicated to enhancing the lives of families dealing with pediatric cancer who have to travel more than 50 miles away from their home for treatment. Since the need of each family going through treatment is different, the contest collected gift cards for restaurants, gas, grocery stores and pharmacies to be given to the Bowen Story Fund for distribution.
Upson County Republican Party Chairman J.D. Stallings played a vital role in having the Bowen Story Fund named as a beneficiary for the fundraiser. In addition to the local chairman, Stallings also is part of the state organization’s Community Service Committee, whose focus is to demonstrate President Reagan’s message of Republican optimism. The recently formed group met over the past year and chose four charities to be the beneficiaries of the GAGOP’s contest for most generous party in the state. Stallings suggested the local group when narrowing down the list and the rest of the committee quickly jumped on board because they liked the idea of the organization specifically helping people outside of Atlanta.
The Bowen Story Fund is named after Bo Story, a courageous little boy who fought hard against medulloblastoma, a highly malignant brain tumor, from the time he was 23 months old to just before his fourth birthday in August 2011, when he received God’s ultimate healing. In his memory, Bo’s parents founded the Bowen Story Fund in hopes of helping other families who were going through the same type of things they had while their son was receiving treatment. Though his life on Earth was rather short, the strength that Bo showed while battling cancer inspired many people, especially his own family. That inspiration led to the creation of their personal motto, “Be Strong, Be Bo Strong,” which also serves as the motto of the charity.
Scott Story, Bo’s father, is extremely grateful for the donations that came in from the fundraising efforts of the Republican parties.
“Thanks is not enough when it comes to what the GOP raised for the Bowen Story Fund. So many childhood cancer families will benefit from this fundraiser,” said Story. “I am so excited that we are associated with the state Republican Party and thank them for supporting us. Bo’s legacy has been spreading through the state with their help. A special thank you goes out to J.D. Stallings for thinking of the fund when the idea came up. September is childhood cancer awareness month and we appreciate all that has been done in Bo’s memory. Be inspiring! Be incredible! Be Bo strong!”
Stallings went to school with Story and was glad to be able to help not only through donations, but also by bringing awareness to the Bowen Story Fund.
“It was nice knowing people all over the State of Georgia were able to learn about and help this great organization,” said Stallings, “and the gift cards raised will be able to help many families throughout Georgia. We also had the privilege to feed some of the families and staff at Scottish Rite and Egleston this past weekend. Seeing firsthand what some of these families are going through was tough, but knowing what we raised will help brighten up their day makes it worthwhile.”
In all, 14 counties throughout the state participated in the fundraising event which included: Upson, Cobb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Jackson, Greene, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Henry, Muscogee, Lowndes, Clayton, and Douglas. The Cobb County, Jackson County, and Henry County Republican Parties will be honored at the GAGOP Victory Dinner this fall for their exceptional fundraising efforts.
GAGOP 1st Vice-Chairman Michael McNeely is proud of all the work the county Republican parties did while participating in the fundraising effort.
“Service to others is one of the highest callings any person can have,” said McNeely. “When we give of our time, talent, and treasury to help those in need, we make our country a better place to live. We must consistently show people we care and not only tell them. The Community Service Committee is proud to support the Bowen Story Fund and look forward to working with many more organizations across the state of Georgia.”
The GAGOP Community Service Committee is now working with the Georgia Federation for Republican Women to donate pocket-sized constitutions to 5th grade students in honor of Constitution Day. The Committee will also volunteer to serve meals with the Veterans Empowerment Organization of Georgia.
Ashley Biles can be reached by calling 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @AshleyBiles1