SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) – For seven years, friends of a Savannah man have held a concert and auction to support his medical treatment. That’s because Jason Statts was paralyzed after being shot in Savannah’s Ardsley Park back in 2008.
Year after year, his friends, students, and family have held Stattsfest to support his rising medical costs. This year, they take the event away from downtown Savannah and the Greyson Stadium.
“For us to be able at a place where the community is really sort of bonded around I think also ties the whole community aspect to it,” says Dave Williams, who is Statts’ former band mate and was also shot that same night.
For years the event was held at The Jynx. This change is a new beginning for the fundraiser to help a friend, but to also spread a wider community message on public safety.
“What happened with Jason really affects the whole entire community, the violent crime in general is something everybody needs to be aware of, at the time wasn’t so aware of and now it’s becoming something that’s a lot more apparent,” Williams adds.
This year marks a milestone because just a year ago the fundraiser was hit by theft, someone broke into a volunteers car in 2015 taking dozens of auction items. This put in jeopardy the much needed funds for Jason.
“That was tough, but once we posted it online that it was stolen the community again just came together and people started donating and just showed up,” says long time friend Jen Young.
Now with a new venue, organizers hope that same support shows up and shows out for Jason as they look to make Stattsfest a community wide event and also a family affair.
“For him to be here it could set him back, in that healing process, so we continue to do this for him and we will,” Young adds.
All of the items in the auction will go to support Statts. Organizers say any items leftover will be up for sale on the “Friends of Statts” Instagram page.