LAURINBURG — Jaylend Ratliffe has begun minor rehab as he slowly gains strength and continues to heal from an ATV accident that occurred almost two weeks ago. The Scotland football star has been able to get out of bed and walk a few steps with assistance, according to a source.
By last Friday, Ratliffe was off of his ventilator and was able to speak, albeit in limited fashion due to the tracheotomy he underwent.
While Ratliffe remains in Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, the Scotland County community has supported him from afar with several fundraisers. The latest, a plate sale, will take place on Aug. 28 at First United Methodist Church, at the corner of Church and Main streets in Laurinburg.
Ray Herring, of Southernway Catering, has organized the sale, coined “Cooking for Jaylend.”
“I’m heading it, but the community has really supported me,” Herring said, adding that almost all the food and materials have been donated. “I just wanted to do something to help. I can cook, and I know everybody likes to eat.”
Lunch will be served from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. and dinner from 4-7 p.m.
Plates are $7 each for either chicken or pork chops with two sides, drink and dessert. A plate with both chicken and pork can be purchased for $10.
Tickets can be purchased downtown at Harley’s Tuxedo or the Gospel Music and Christian Bookstore; at Community Drugs or Holmes Insurance, at 1028 and 615 Atkinson Street, respectively; at Carrie & Co., at 898 U.S. 401 or Taylor Made Cuts, across from Scotland High School on Church Street.
Herring’s goal is to serve at least 2,000 customers.
“Hopefully we can write him a big check at the end,” he said.
The Mid-South 4-A schools will join the Southeastern 4-A in taking donations for Jaylend Ratliffe at their first home games, an effort the conference announced last Thursday. Scotland travels to play Mid-South opponent South View for their opening game on Aug. 22.
An online fundraiser, at www.gofundme.com/cenyp0, reached $8,280 before eventually closing at the beginning of last week. Donald and Bobbie Lowe are selling “2 Strong” T-shirts in honor of Ratliffe. The shirts costs $20 and the family can be reached at 910-280-9930.
Also, an account for Ratliffe and his family has been set up at State Employees Credit Union by Laurinburg Police and Scotland County Rescue Squad. The account is only accessible to Ratliffe’s mom, Sharon, and anyone can donate to the account through any SECU branch.