Autaugaville Fundraiser Benefits Bohannon Family


By Heather VacLav

Saturday’s rainy weather didn't stop Autauga and Elmore County residents from helping out an Autaugaville family in need. About two weeks ago, a fire destroyed the Bohannon family's four-generation home, and took the life of the family’s youngest baby. 

The Autaugaville Fire Department raised more than $1500 at their Saturday fish fry fundraiser. In addition to all of the proceeds, people from the state donated a room full of clothes, toys and furniture to help replace some of what the Bohannon’s lost.

More than 500 people, including Prattville’s Mayor Bill Gillespie, ate at the dinner to support the fire department’s cause.

“It’s the open arms affect,” said volunteer Ruthann Weedon, “Jesus is at his work.”

On top of their dinner purchases, line after lines of people willingly opened up their pockets to donate extra money. 

“They comin’ together good today, helpin’ out,” said volunteer Valera Bryant.

“It’s just an ongoing outpouring of gratitude for everyone, its like everybody is family,” said Chief Ernest Stoudemire with the Autaugaville Fire Department.

Many people in the Autaguaville community grew up with or knew someone in the Bohannon family, so many were quick to help out in any way they could.

“And so when I heard about it, it just broke my heart, especially with a little bitty baby,” said Minniepearl Davis, a friend of the Bohannon’s and volunteer.

“So I'm just glad to help out and do whatever I can,” she said.

The home destroyed belonged to Bobbie Bohannon, mother to Steve Bohannon and grandmother to Wesley Bohannon, who’s son died in the fire. 

Bobbie Bohannon was also at the drive. The destroyed home belonged to her, but she was letting her son and grandson’s families live in it.

Bobbie lost all of her possessions to the fire, but the greatest loss was her great-grandson, Wesley and Hope Bohannon's 16-month old baby boy, Wesley Junior. 

While Bobbie says she is helping her family recover, it has been very difficult, especially on Wes and Hope’s 5-year old daughter Macy.

“[Macy] She was hollering bring him back, bring him back. I said no, leave him with papa! I said, he's rocking him like he used to do with you,” Bobbie said with tears welling up in her eyes.

Bobbie says this has changed her family's lives forever, but she is grateful they are not going through this alone.

Both the Alabama State Employees (ASE) Credit Union and Amerifirst Bank are accepting monetary donations for the Bohannon family.

ASE Credit Union

-Make Checks/Money Orders payable to: The Bohannon Family Fund

-Mail or drop off at branches (Montgomery, Millbrook & Wetumpka)

-Address: PO Box 231140; Montgomery, AL 36123

-Phone: 1-800-634-9171 or 334-270-9011


AmeriFirst Bank

-Make Checks/Money Orders payable to: The Bohannon Family Fund

-Mail or drop off at branches (Prattville, Montgomery & Union Springs)

-Address: 1799 Hwy 14 East, Prattville, AL 36066

-Phone: 334-358-0351


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