Here is a follow-up email from one of the organizers. It shows what can happen when everyone pulls together for our troops. God bless Bunky and his family ... thank you for your sacrifice for our freedoms. Remember ... supporting the troops includes here at home.
The bachelor auction was a huge, huge success and far exceeded our wildest dreams. The outpouring of hope, support, generosity and heart felt prayers from our community was amazing and humbling.
Some of the highlights were, Sgt. (P) Arthur "Bunky" Woods was able to attend and was smiling from ear to ear from 7 to 11. This was such a moral booster for him. He had a little taste of an "adult" beverage, while his nurse wasn't looking and told L.B., "Man, that tastes good."
When Bunky was about to leave he gave a little talk, that was truly Bunky including his thanks, and a joke about Dusty getting his hair cut. A roar went up from the crowd of about 600 and he got a standing ovation leaving via the center isle. The festivities continued until around midnight.
The preliminary total of the donations blew us away. The auction and associated activities raised in the neighborhood of $70,000. This wipes out the remaining cost of his van by far, and maybe we will use some of the proceeds to have his mother's house fitted with accessible doors and bath facilities as well.
Fifty "Men with a Heart" were auctioned including yours truly who was sold for guess how much? $900 to an unsuspecting lady, ha. My brother sold for more than I did. I didn't bring as much as the silent auction horse, but did manage to bring more then the side of beef, which is somewhat understandable, since I was recently marinated, am nice and tender and aged to perfection. What a hoot. We will go to dinner at Wayside Inn, and a play at Wayside Theater.
Bunky's Capt Jesser and Bunky's humvee 50 cal. gunner "Graves" were there to talk a little bit about Bunky's army experiences, and what Bunky meant to the Platoon. Capt. Jesser told everyone that when Sgt Woods was wounded in action, he lost the heart and soul of the platoon. He said that Bunky pushed his men and the platoon to the edge of the envelope and there was never a dull moment when Sgt Woods was around.
Words cannot express our gratitude to everyone that helped and in particular Martha Buracker and the members of the auction committee. I can only pray that they all receive a wonderful reward from our Lord and Savior when they get to heaven. What a wonderful thing they did for Bunky.
One of the reporters for the local paper interviewed me and asked about the how I felt about the outpouring of support from the community and I told him, "I grew up in Front Royal and Warren County, got a good education that prepared me for college and it was a beautiful place to grow up, so when Connie and I started a family we decided to raise our family here also." There is a lot to be said for coming from a small close community.
Bunky hasn't regained any additional mobility yet but he is feeling better each day. He made it back to Richmond around 2 AM and snoozed most of the day Sunday.