More than $10,000 raised in a night to aid paralyzed man

Posted Jan. 10, 2012, at 12:20 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 10, 2012, at 5:57 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — Community members opened their wallets and their hearts last weekend to help the family of a young man who is partially paralyzed after a car accident that happened two months ago.

A fundraising dinner and silent auction held Sunday at Darby’s Restaurant, where 22-year-old Jon Carlson worked for several years, raised more than $10,000, according to owner Jerry Savitz.

“It was just so positive. It was just special,” Savitz said Monday. “It was just Belfast. A very, very homey, communal kind of feeling.”

The waitstaff volunteered their time and tips to help Carlson’s family raise the money needed to renovate their Belfast home to make it more handicapped-accessible. According to Savitz, local carpenter Mike Lewis was helping the family build a room for Jon Carlson on Monday. Carlson has been recuperating at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor since the November accident, according to restaurant staff.

Savitz said that his restaurant was full all Sunday night, and that the silent auction garnered nearly $4,000. Carlson’s family members came to the event.

“They were incredibly appreciative,” the restaurateur said.

Local folks also have been helping the family by donating wood and labor to the house project, he said.

“It’s an amazing community around here,” Savitz said.

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