article for 12/10 in fort myers news press
The racing community has taken in 7-week-old Avery Hutson, who Cape Coral police say was severely beaten by her father, by setting up a fundraiser for the newborn Dec. 20.
Derrick Horton, a Fort Myers mechanic and frequent driver at the Charlotte County Motorsports Park, said Monday he was going to donate winnings from a race Saturday to Avery’s family.
But after contacting fellow racers, sponsors and the track’s owner Bobby Diehl, the fundraiser idea has taken off and a larger event has developed.
Avery was rushed to HealthPark Medical Center in south Fort Myers Friday suffering from skull fractures and severe injuries. She was then moved to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg.
Cape Coral police arrested and charged Geoffrey Scott Hutson, 41, with one count of cruelty toward a child causing great bodily harm. He is being held on $150,000 bond at Lee County Jail.
Diehl, the track owner, has agreed to slash ticket prices by half for the race and will donate $1 per fan to the family, said the track’s announcer, Jason Beckner. Merchandise, memorabilia and a video of the night’s race will be raffled off, too. The track also will host an annual racing day in Avery’s honor on her birthday. Horton said he hopes the family can come to the track to be welcomed by drivers, staff and the fans.
Beckner said it was natural for the racing community to help because the track is family friendly.
“The kids are such a big part of this track and kids are our future,” he said. “Maybe, just maybe, our little community at the race track can make a difference.”
Horton, a single parent of two, said the story touched him and encouraged him to start organizing the fundraiser.
“When I read that article, it brought tears to my eyes,” Horton said.
He said he hopes more local businesses and others decide to help the family at such a tough time.
“It just got bigger than I ever imagined,” he said. “Now that it’s rolling, I’m going to get everything I can for her.”
When told of Horton’s fundraiser Tuesday night, Laura Hutson, Avery’s mother, was touched.
“That’s awesome,” she said.
Avery had an MRI Monday night to determine if she has brain damage, but Hutson said she hadn’t gotten the results.
Other than that, her condition is stable, Hutson said.
Please say a pray. She need our support!!!