Archived Story

Saturday fundraiser to pay tribute to fallen hero

Published 10:29am Thursday, October 7, 2010

COAL GROVE — Those who loved Sgt. Justin Bradley Allen and want him remembered by generations to come are getting ready for the first fundraiser to help pay for a lasting memorial.

That event will run from noon until 8 p.m. Saturday at Paul Porter Park in Coal Grove, starting with a flag raising and Allen’s nephew’s wife, Deanna Allen, singing the National Anthem.

Allen was killed in action while on a combat operation in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. The Coal Grove native was serving in the elite Army Rangers and was heading up an assault on an enemy position when he was killed in July.

Now the Dawson-Bryant Class of 2005, Allen’s graduating class, wants to install a monument on the campus of the high school and start a scholarship for graduating Coal Grove seniors.

Throughout the day will be concerts by Jamie Baxter, a country acoustic musician, PXR, a hard rock band from Coal Grove and Hanging Rock, Last Chance Band, a country-Southern group from Waterloo and Blue Sky Falling from Point Pleasant, W.Va.

Organizing the bands is Cody Chaffin, who graduated with Allen.

“Justin was my best friend all through school,” he said. “I figured this is the best thing I could do to pitch in and do my part.”

The monument the class has chosen for Allen is the Fallen Soldier Memorial Sculpture depicting a soldier’s boots, his gun and helmet. Cost of the sculpture is $5,000.

The concerts are free but donations will be accepted. That plus proceeds from concessions and activities such as face painting will go toward the two-pronged project.

There will also be a silent auction and raffle. Among the items donated for the event are $150 gift card for a photo session at Gold Studio; two gym memberships; oil changes, gift baskets; a free on-location photo shoot with Howie McCormack; free bowling at Sparetime; a free hair cut from Paula’s Beauty Shop in Ironton; free tattoo from Tri-State Tattoo; a $200 gift card toward Carey’s Tire; five prepaid cell phones donated by River Cities Wireless and a $50 Walmart gift card.

Also individual donations can be made for the memorial fund in care of PNC Bank, 701 High St., Coal Grove, OH 45638.

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