Fundraiser to benefit ex-logger

By: W. Curt Vincent - Bladen Journal

WHITE LAKE — Family and friends are rallying around a Bladen County man who recently suffered a stroke, and they are hoping the rest of the county will join in.

On Saturday, Aug. 4, Merritt Brothers in White Lake will host a day-long fundraiser to benefit David “Punk” Johnson.

Starting at 9 a.m., the event will feature a motorcycle, big-rig, car, truck and Jeep cruise-in at a cost of $10 per entry.

“If you’re proud of it, bring it,” organizers said.

The cruise-in will lead to a number of awards being presented — including Best Classic, Best Big Rig, Best 1988 and newer, Best Jeep, Best 4X4 Truck, Best American Bike, Best Metric Bike, Bike With Most Miles, Car/Truck With Most Miles, Oldest Biker, People’s Choice Award and more. Visitors can vote for their favorites at $1 per vote.

The day will also be highlighted by a plate sale that will include grilled barbecue chicken, potato salad, green beans, dessert and tea for $8; a 50-50; auction; yard sale; bounce houses and games for children (a $5 wristband will be available); and much more.

According to organizers, Johnson has worked in the logging industry his entire adult life and was driving a log truck for Lake Creek Logging prior to his stroke.

“He attends our church (Colly Chapel Church in White Lake); he and his wife have always worked extremely hard,” said Blossom Jernigan-Rigsbee, one of the organizers. “You just have to know this family — they’d give you anything they could.”

She added that the group is hoping for a huge turnout.

“This is an event the church and the entire community, really, is putting together,” Jernigan-Rigsbee said. “So we’re looking forward to a good, family fun day.”

All proceeds from the fundraiser will help to pay Johnson’s medical bills, home expenses and travel costs back and forth to physician visits.

Anyone needing information can call the following …

— Advance tickets and information: Blossom Jernigan-Rigsbee at 910-874-1179 or Dale Brennan at 910-874-0726.

— Cruise-in: Tina Merritt-Smith at 910-876-2549 or Donna Burton at 910-876-4450 or Christie Merritt at 910-874-6720 or Jimmy Skinner at 910-991-6879.

— Yard sale: Marlene Baxley at 910-709-2882 or Cornelia Hester at 910-876-3682.

— Auction: Jessica Tart at 910-260-6112.

Merritt Brothers is located at 8906 N.C. 41 East in White lake.

W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or

Event planned for Aug. 4

W. Curt Vincent

Bladen Journal