Warner Robins Men Raise Funds with Watermelons

6:10 PM, Jul 26, 2013   |    comments
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Two Warner Robins men are setting up watermelon stands in several Central Georgia towns.

They aren't starting a new business - they're full-time roofers.

Aaron Castleberry and Neal Fairchild are setting their nail guns and shingles aside for a greater cause. Castleberry's wife Tonya is suffering from liver failure.

"They're not really sure exactly what made her liver fail," said Castleberry. "Now she has a spot on her liver that [doctors] think is cancerous."

Tonya's liver troubles have gotten progressively worse over the last few years. Doctors think she may need a transplant.

"When you find out something like that, it's scary. You just don't know how things are going to turn out. Just because someone needs a liver transplant doesn't mean they get one," said Castleberry.

The transplant hasn't been confirmed yet, but medical bills are still a burden. Tonya needs an MRI every other month. Each scan costs the Castleberry family close to $3,000.

They're giving away the watermelons, but asking for donations. So far, they are averaging $1,500 a day from their combined stands in Warner Robins, Perry, and Byron.

"Watermelons are easy to get here," said Castleberry. "We see people selling them on the side of the road, so it seemed like an easy thing to get into."

Tonya is grateful.

"Bunch of tears," said Castleberry, in regard to his wife's response from the fundraiser. "She can't believe that we're actually out here doing this."

The donations should keep on coming. There are six more weeks left of watermelon season. 

Neal Fairchild, owner of Fairchild Roofing, is eager to keep raising funds.

"We may be crazy but we're not insane yet. We're going to stick with the watermelon thing and stick this through."

Aaron Castleberry and Neal Fairchild are looking for volunteers to help run the fundraiser. Anyone willing to help man donation sites, or assist with delivery, may call Fairchild Roofing at (478) 923 - 6778


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