POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — On Wednesday, the streets of the city were lined with people, the town was painted with black and yellow balloons, and words of welcome were displayed for one very special Point Pleasant resident.
Lewis Bryant Jr. has touched the hearts of countless individuals within his community. As a way to welcome him home from a difficult stay at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, members of the community lined the streets from one end of town to the other. Several people were sporting their #TeamLewis shirts and had special signs of welcome made up for him. Local businesses were decorated as well and had their welcome home messages displayed for Bryant.
“Driving through town and seeing the sea of black and yellow, accompanied by Lewis’ name was truly overwhelming,” said Ashley Cossin, one of the organizers behind this special welcome home. “Seeing the hundreds of people lining the street to give Lewis the ‘welcome home’ he deserved both warmed my heart and brought tears to my eyes.”
The Mason County Sheriff’s Department as well as several motorcyclists provided a special “heroes escort” for Bryant. For a little over a year now, this young warrior has been battling metastic osetosarcoma and that battle has been especially rough these past few weeks for Bryant and his family. During his past stay in the hospital, he received many visitors and several special greeting cards.
“I’m so thankful for the motorcyclists and Mason County Sheriff’s office for the special escort,” said Cossin. “Getting to witness our community come together to show Lewis and his family that we’re all behind them and keeping them in our thoughts and prayers was an amazing thing, and I hope that we were able to convey that message and brighten their day a little.”
Other events honoring and supporting Bryant and his family will be taking place this month.
This Sunday from 6-9 p.m. at Krodel Park the Lewis Bryant Sunday Funday will take place, which has been organized by family friend Melissa Fetty. It will be a community cook out with a face painting station, jump houses made available by Meigs Inflatables, a magic show by Dale Wheeler, and D.J. Tyrone Washington providing some tunes. The Point Pleasant Splash Pad will be open from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and the evening will conclude with a prayer service at 9 p.m., Fetty encourages all who plan on attending to bring a candle. Those interested in donating or would like to volunteer to set up for the event can contact Fetty on Facebook. Also, she is still taking orders for #TeamLewis tee-shirts.
On Friday, Aug. 23, a benefit spaghetti dinner for Bryant will be held from 5-8 p.m. at the First Church of God in Point Pleasant. Along with the spaghetti main dish, side dishes such as salad and bread sticks will be available as well as a dessert. The meals will be available as dine in or take out according to the event’s Facebook page. Items from area businesses and friends will be raffled off that evening as well. Take out is also an option.
Other donation options include, the Lewis Bryant Fundraiser Facebook page organized by Ruthie Sheets, so far $7,121 has been raised for Bryant and his family. Also, Kimberly Handley Hunt has an account for Bryant at City National Bank that was started at the beginning of Bryant’s battle. For those who wish to contribute, they can take a donation in Hunt’s name with “Lewis Bryant” written in the memo to City National Bank or can donate through PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For continued updates on Bryant, follow on Facebook, Lewis Bryant Jr. Updates #TeamLewie.
Erin (Perkins) Johnson is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.