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Benefit planned for arson victim

COAL GROVE — Both her church family and her work family are rallying around a Deering woman who was badly burned in an alleged arson last week.

Meanwhile, authorities said Amy Wilcox remains in serious condition in a Cincinnati hospital.

Late last week, students, faculty and staff at Collins Career Center took up a collection for Wilcox’s two children to help with expenses while their mother is hospitalized. Wilcox taught special education at the school.

“It’s been amazing,” fellow teacher Tina Wells said. “The students have created tri-fold boards and sent her get-well wishes. They’re in the process of creating ribbons to wear at graduation. One student created a prayer chain and it’s hanging in her (Wilcox’s) room.”

Wells credited student Hannah Henderson not only with the idea of making the prayer chain but spearheading the donation collection.

Wells said some faculty and staff plan to donate their unused sick and vacation time to help Wilcox as well.

Also, Wilcox’s church, Community Missionary Baptist Church, is organizing a fundraiser noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 16 at Dawson-Bryant High School.

Several area businesses and churches have indicated they will participate, church Web site administrator Julia Simmons said.

“M&M Inflatables is going to bring its inflatables and Giovanni’s is donating food,” Simmons said. “We’re having an auction and auctioning off a fairly new laptop.”

While earthly means are being employed for Amy Wilcox’s sake, a higher power is being sought as well.

“People all around the world are praying for Amy, even people who don’t know her and it is making a difference. We’re grateful for that. It’s the grace of God,” Simmons said.

An account has been established to collect monetary donations.

Those who wish to donate may do so at Liberty Federal Savings and Loan in Ironton or Proctorville.

The account name is Community Missionary Baptist Church for the benefit of Amy Wilcox.

Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless said Wilcox’s condition remains serious.

The investigation into last week’s fire at the Wilcox residence continues, Lawless said.

Detectives searched Tom Wilcox’s locker at Liebert Corp. Monday.

Tom Wilcox remains in a Louisville, Ky., hospital. His condition is unchanged as well. Lawless said Tom Wilcox is being closely monitored by Louisville police. He is charged with felonious assault.

Authorities were called to Amy Wilcox’s Private Drive 254 residence Thursday evening after Tom Wilcox allegedly assaulted the woman and then set the fire. Authorities have said the incident was the result of a domestic dispute.