By Carson Williamson

The third annual Bellabrave Summer Concert was held on Aug. 13 at the Fillmore Clifton Stadium in Bridgeville. The event was free to the public, and a number of raffle prizes were available to all who attended. Special guests included both Ronnie Reed and Georgie Herrmann, who were the two individuals of the community chosen by the Bellabrave committee to receive the donations from the concert. Donations were made both via a bucket upon entry, and later during the event in the form of an offering taken. A variety of music was performed by seven different singers, and the national anthem kicked off the night with the local Woodbridge JROTC Color Guard to back it. 

The Bellabrave Summer Concert is a fundraising event put on by the Bellabrave committee, organized by Jeffrey Allen, the head of the committee. In addition to the committee, help is provided in the form of the Union Methodist Church, and a variety of teachers from the Woodbridge School District. Bellabrave was formed in memory of Bella Moore, who passed away in May of 2020 due to terminal brain cancer at the age of seven. Since then, a number of events have been organized and held in her honor, with the money raised by these events going back to members of the community in similar situations to Bella, or to local organizations that have assisted with Bellabrave.

The third annual Bellabrave summer concert took place last week in Bridgeville. Photo by Carson Williamson

The Bellabrave Concert included a showing of support from a variety of local sponsors and organizations including Frozen Farmer, Union Church, Orchard Point Market, K&R Concessions, the Blood Bank of Delmarva, the ColeStrong Foundation, J&B Entertainment, the Greenwood and Bridgeville Volunteer Fire Companies, the Bridge radio station, and more. Additionally, a number of local businesses provided door prizes in the form of different gift cards to their establishments. The singers at the event included Shauntea Jackson, Eddie Parker, Verdant Becca McDonald, Alonzo Dixon, Kim Willey, Elbert Collins, Jay Jolly, and Leigh Ann Parks. 

According to a GoFundMe page previously done for the Herrmann family, Woodbridge student Georgie Herrmann was hospitalized on June 3, 2023 after he started having difficulty walking and severe pain in his legs. On Sunday, June 4 he was taken to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) where he was admitted to the ICU due to Sepsis that affected his muscles and joints. He spent nearly a month in the hospital and has required extensive physical therapy to regain use of his legs and wrist that were affected by the infection. Both parents missed extended time at work traveling back and forth to be with Georgie and taking him to appointments. Thankfully, Georgie is doing better now, and was able to attend the concert with his family. The funds raised at the concert will go towards paying expenses incurred and continuing as a result of Georgie’s medical issues.

Special guest Ronnie Reed expressed how honored he felt to receive the donations and support from the event and the community. Reed served the Bridgeville Fire Department for 20 years and is currently a 35-year life member of Greenwood’s Fire Department. “I know a lot of people in the community, and to have them come out and show their support for me and Georgie is overwhelming,” Reed said. “I didn’t expect any of this, it’s a hard thing to explain but it’s overwhelming.” Reed was injured in a machinery incident involving a skid-steer loader, wherein the bucket of the loader pinned his leg and severed an artery in two separate places, above and below the knee. “I made a call to my girlfriend and told her I was going to make a decision, and I wasn’t sure if it was the right or the wrong one,” Reed explained. He knew he was bleeding internally, but he made the call for the medical personnel that arrived to lift the machinery off his leg, before stating how there was likely little time left to save the leg. “They got me from the Rehoboth Mall to Beebe Hospital in nine minutes,” Reed said.

Reed continued his story by explaining that he had two doctors attend to him that were very rarely there at the same time, performing an emergency surgery that saved his leg. “Time will tell,” Reed concluded when talking about his recovery. Despite his injuries, due to the work of his physical therapy team and the medical personnel that attended him, Reed has been able to regain use of his leg for the purpose of walking and was even able to rise from his wheelchair during the concert. Over 150 members of the community attended, be it by themselves or as family, in support of the Bellabrave fund and the work its committee does. By the end of the night, over $2,500 was raised in support of Ronnie Reed and Georgie Herrmann, with promises of more donations in the future. 

The Bellabrave committee still has activities to hold this year, including the Bella Ball, and plans are already underway for the next Bellabrave Concert. If you’d like more information, or to ask about offering support for the Bellabrave committee, or to contact Jeff Allen, visit the #BELLABRAVE Facebook group, or contact Jeff directly at his email address, jw****@ms*.com, or his phone number 302-745-1873.