A Night for Garrett: Caring community shows its true colors

GM pipe race warren, croll halliwell

Nicholas Warren, Carley Croll, front, and Elyse Halliwell are on a roll in the Pipe Race.

MILLSBORO – Yellow with a touch of black were without question the colors of the day at the Millsboro Little League Saturday.

GM ripken jersey diego rodriguez

Diego Rodriguez of Georgetown stakes a $55 bid for this Cal Ripken Jr. jersey. The winning silent auction bid was guaranteed to fetch at least $100.

Hocker’s BBQ, cool ice cream treats from Evans Farms’ The Frozen Farmer, carnival games, silent and live auctions, live entertainment and other activities punctuated the mega-fundraiser for Garrett Rogers and his family.

Three weeks to the day the 10-year-old Millsboro boy was critically injured when struck by a van while retrieving baseballs, friends, family and scores of others took part in the family-friendly “A Night for Garrett” event geared to support the Rogers’ family in a very difficult time.

The event actually started several hours earlier than originally planned.

“When you tell people it’s going to start at 3 p.m., and at 11 o’clock they are here with their wallets out, wanting to buy raffle tickets and food and shirts, you know it is going to be a good day for an awesome kid,” said Josh Wharton, co-founder of the Good Ole Boy Foundation.

A close friend of the Rogers family, Mr. Wharton is one of Garrett’s coaches for the Millsboro Little League’s Minor Division Yankees and also one of his coaches in travel baseball.

It was a day of support and giving.

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Ticket sales are brisk at the booth for the 1979 Corvette raffle.

Gerald Hocker Jr. said Hocker’s had planned on supporting the Rogers family and Saturday’s event fit right in.

“Since my family knew the Rogers family through the late Kirk Rogers we decided that we wanted to help out. We were planning to open our Hocker’s BBQ food truck in our parking lot at Hocker’s Super Center and donate half of our revenue to the Rogers family,” said Mr. Hocker. “Since the late Kirk Rogers was so active with the Good Ole Boys we reached out to Josh Wharton to see if they were interested in helping us with some volunteers.”

In addition to that support, approximately $650 in the tip bucket at Hocker’s BBQ vendor trailer was also donated to the Rogers family.

The Frozen Farmer requested a $3 minimum donation for cups of chocolate or vanilla ice cream.

“Anything above that, 100 percent of all proceeds go to Garrett. We just had a guy give us $20!” said Katey Evans of Evans Farms. “We are a wholehearted supporter of the Good Ole Boy Foundation. And we are good friends with some of Garrett’s family members.”

For kids there was face-painting, a pitching radar gun inflatable, a BB gun target range and homemade carnival-type games provided by Millsboro Middle School eighth grader Will Kenney, with help from family and friends.

Music entertainment by the Dirt Road Outlawz, one of Delmarva’s popular bands, capped the fundraiser.

Yellow and black t-shirts, specially made by Chris Otwell of Sportz Tees, feature The Heart of a Ranger 22 on the front and G. Rogers 22 #GMONEYSTRONG on the back. “Ranger” is a family tie to Garrett’s father, Kirk Rogers, who passed away last November. Mr. Rogers served with Army Rangers and was a patriotic member of the Good Ole Boy Foundation.

GM t-shirts

Dozens upon dozens of t-shirts were purchased Saturday in the fundraiser for Garrett Rogers. Chris Otwell at left, owner of Sportz Tees said more than 1,000 shirts had already been sold prior to the event.

Shirts, priced at $15, sold like hotcakes.

So did raffle tickets for a white 1979 Corvette, graciously donated by Eddie and Gail Lambden to the Good Ole Boy Foundation in support of the Rogers family.

The Corvette raffle is ongoing. Tickets state that the drawing will be held before Oct. 15.

“I just want to give everybody an opportunity to get in on it,” said Mr. Wharton, who can be reached through Facebook and by email at jwharton80@gmail.com.

PayPal is another raffle purchase option.

“I want to make it as easy as I can to get these tickets out there for people to help out Garrett and his family,” said Mr. Wharton.

Raffle tickets are $10 each or three for $20.

Items donated by local businesses and individuals comprised the inventory for the auctions.

“The coolest part is when you get something like this going, and the donations start coming in … and you asked for nothing,” said Mr. Wharton. “The people give because they love their community and they love the Rogers family. It is a true testament of how Sussex County and the surrounding areas really know how to take care of their own.”

GM facepainting morelli porches

D Morelli, graphic design instructor at Sussex Central High School, face-paints a butterfly for 4-year-old Emily Porches of Bridgeville.

Garrett has been at A.I. duPont Children’s Hospital in Wilmington since the May 14 accident.

Garrett’s mom, Wendy Warren Rogers, sent this uplifting Facebook post Saturday.

“Garrett, Aubrey and I are so blessed to live in such an amazing community and be so surrounded with love and kindness. Thank you to every one of you. Truly, you have no idea what seeing your photos and everyone in their yellow shirts does for my soul,” Ms. Rogers posted.

“I don’t know why this is the path that has been chosen for us; trying my best to walk it with faith and hope and the belief that miracles do happen. Today was a truly amazing day for Garrett; he really, truly opened his eyes. And actually smiled. While the road to recovery will not be short, I have to believe that all your prayers as well as mine will be answered and this amazing boy can and will be healed,” Ms. Rogers said. “He is truly my hero, and Kirk’s too, I know.”

Ms. Rogers announced she has started a GMoneyStrong Facebook page so everyone can follow Garrett’s journey. Visit the Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/Gmoneystrong/

GM Hocker's BBQ

Pit beef, pulled pork, chicken tenders and crab cakes were big sellers at Hocker’s BBQ Saturday during the fundraiser for Garrett Rogers and his family.

GM Frozen Farmer group

Evans Farms’ The Frozen Farmer provided ice cream treats at the “A Night for Garrett” event. Kneeling are Katey Evans and daughter Kenna Evans, sampling some of The Frozen Farmer chocolate ice cream; standing, Gabby Morra and Amber Wilson, holding Kylin Evans.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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