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Randy and Friends holds banquet, auction to help those with disabilities
Georgia's first lady serves as honorary chairman for event
Sandra Deal
Sandra Deal

Randy Owens and his family “started on a journey we were unprepared for” when he was struck by a car at age 2.

But the Owens family, the founders of Randy and Friends, have since dedicated their efforts to helping young people with disabilities.

“God has just given us the opportunity to have a small part in his story,” Randy Owens said.

Randy and Friends held their banquet and auction Thursday, March 22, at the First Baptist Church Banquet Hall in Gainesville.

Georgia's first lady Sandra Deal served as the honorary chairman.

“It’s up to each of us to utilize our opportunities as we see fit, and hopefully you all have the desire and the drive that Randy has and the support of people like Marty and all these other friends of Randy and all of his family through the years,” she said.

At last year’s event, Director Dennis Scheidt said the organization served 30 people. That number has grown to more than 80.

“During the past year, we have placed about 30 people into employment situations. That to me is just phenomenal,” Scheidt said.

Scheidt said there is a goal to build a greenhouse, where people could be employed year round and provide “great therapy for young adults with special needs.”

Items up for auction included a hot air balloon ride, dinner for 10 at Alpha Gyro Grill, a fishing trip, a private lunch with first lady Sandra Deal, a 12-gauge shotgun, a 9mm handgun and a puppy.

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