By ANGIE CARNATHAN
Last May, Angelia Gandy and her three children were involved in a serious car wreck that took the life of one of Gandy’s children and severely injured Gandy and another child. Her co-workers at Sudduth Elementary are asking for help from the Starkville community to aid Gandy and her family on their road to recovery by throwing a fundraising sale at the Sportsplex on Saturday from 8-11:30 a.m.
The sale will be like a typical garage sale, offering things such as home items, school uniforms and children’s clothes. There will also be a silent auction, raffle, bake sale, snow cones, pizza and jumpers. Jumpers are free, snow cones and pizza will be $1, and Coca-Cola products are 50 cents. All proceeds will go directly to the Gandy family.
Gandy has worked for the Starkville School District for many years and was working at Sudduth Elementary at the time of the accident. Since then, she spent months recovering in intensive care and has undergone extensive physical, occupational and speech therapy.
Gandy has made tremendous progress and hopes to return to her job at Sudduth Elementary by mid-October, but she will continue to need a lot of financial help as a result of the accident.
Local resident Julie Baca said her mother taught Gandy when she was a student at Starkville High School, and then later Gandy became Julie’s daughter Kristina’s assistant teacher in kindergarten. Baca said she has nothing but high praise for Gandy.
“Ms. Gandy is a woman of enormous strength and spirit, a dedicated educator and a devoted mom,” Baca said. “Through these traits, along with the outpouring of support for her from the community, we are confident she and her family will prevail through this most trying time.”
Baca said her daughter Kristina had a message for Gandy from herself and all Sudduth students: “Ms. Gandy, we are all so glad you are back!”
Brittney Rye, one of the event organizers, said Angelia is a very special person to the school and they have missed her smile and enthusiasm.
“Angelia is an incredibly strong person with a personality that children just flock to and love,” Rye said. “She is devoted to her job and family. When this accident happened, people knew that if anyone could make a recovery it would be Angelia. She is a fighter.”
Gandy was Cheryl Lipsey’s teaching assistant last year. Lipsey said Gandy is a dedicated teaching assistant who works wonderfully with children.
“It was devastating to all of us last year when we learned of her accident and the death of her son,” Lipsey said. “I knew that her faith in God would help her through all the circumstances she would encounter. Angelia has made a remarkable recovery, and we are thrilled to have her smiling face back at Sudduth.”
Rye said organizers would like to thank Coca-Cola, Copy Cow, Papa Johns, Snow Biz and the Starkville and Sudduth community for their support to the effort.
“It has been amazing to see how this fundraiser has evolved,” said Lipsey. “It has been a team effort of a group of friends from Sudduth who have rallied together to show their love and support for Angelia.”