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Saturday benefit to raise money for injured couple's medical bills

By Sonny Long
March 9, 2010 at 7:05 p.m.
Updated March 8, 2010 at 9:09 p.m.


Chelsea Aiken and Chad Ganaway planned to get married Saturday.

Instead the couple will be welcoming hundreds of their closest friends - some they've not yet met - to a different event.

A fundraiser to help the couple defray medical costs following a wreck last November will be at Club Westerner, 1005 W. Constitution St. in Victoria.

Aiken's friend of eight years Carla Stafford Nolen, one of the event organizers, said she feels like she is giving a little back to her friend.

"We had our big group of friends and Chelsea and I became really close over the years," Nolen said. "My brother was part of our group and he died in a car wreck on Dec. 27, 2005. Chelsea was such a support system for me and called me every single day to check on me."

Now it's Aiken, 25, who needs the support.

When she and Ganaway crashed into a cow near Fort Stockton, both were seriously injured and continue to need medical care.

"So many people wanted to be a part of this, wanted to do something to help this awesome couple," Nolen, noting the hard work of event co-chair Stephanie Yeary and Angelica Garza of Mid-Coast Family Services where Aiken worked.

"The way that people have come together for this thing has truly inspired me and has warmed my heart. People really are good and Victorians are the best," she said.

The day is full of events including brisket and sausage plates for $7, a gymnastics show and a Zumbathon.

Meal tickets can be purchased at Mid-Coast Family Services, the Victoria YMCA and

South Texas Elite Gymnastics in Cuero.

At 8 p.m. the Scott Taylor Band will perform for a dance. Tickets are $10 at the door.

The silent auction that will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. includes autographed footballs from pro football player and former Texas Longhorn Vince Young and from Victoria native and NFL wide receiver Jerheme Urban.

Event goers can also take part in a drawing to win a trip to New York City including a backstage tour to the Food Network's "Chopped."

Ganaway, 33, owns South Texas Elite Gymnastics and Dance in Cuero, and Akin is the dance director there.

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