Benefit concert to assist and celebrate rehab of injured Gadsden - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Benefit concert to assist and celebrate rehab of injured Gadsden officer

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GADSDEN, Ala. - An Etowah County drug investigator who suffered a severe brain injury last month began taking steps in rehab this week.

A truck collided with Gary Pierce as he rode his motorcycle while off duty March 15.  He spent four week in intensive care at UAB before a transfer to Spain Rehabilitation Center.

Pierce walked more than 250 feet Wednesday with the assistance of a walker.  His commander at the Etowah County Drug Task Force, Rob Savage, said Pierce shows signs of improvement every day.

"He's talking about getting back to work, and he's talking about being back with his family and being home here back in Etowah County," Savage said.

"He has a lot of work to do, and...if it ever comes down to a situation where hard work and commitment can overcome this injury, then he's going to be fine."

Angie Pierce spent the 41 days since the wreck in Birmingham by her husband's side.  She has not been able to work, and Pierce's salary and benefits from the government will not last more than a few months.

"They're bills aren't going to stop.  Work has stopped, but bills aren't going to stop, so I just wanted to do something to help the family out," family friend Jeremy Reeves said.

Reeves owns the Center Stage theater and concert hall in Rainbow City and Gridiron Sport Bar in Gadsden.  He organized an April 25 benefit concert to help with some of the Pierce's expenses.

"Really it was within a matter of 20 minutes.  I made a couple of phone calls and then was having to cut people off, people were wanting to play," Reeves said. 

He settled on four performers: Kudzu Junkies, Ballyhoo, Trading Faces, and Albert Simpson.  One of the members of Trading Faces is one of Pierce's fellow officers at the Gadsden Police Department.

Ticket sales are good, but not great.

"We need to definitely do a lot more.  I'm hoping that we have a lot of walk up people," Reeves said.

"The presales, we've probably done a couple hundred.  We need 1,000 at least to really be able to help this family."

The building can hold 1,908 people.

"I think it's kind of cool.  The timing of it," Savage said.

"Obviously the support from the community is fantastic, but I think also, I think you'll see this as sort of a celebration of the progress he's made to this point."

Tickets are $20 and all proceeds will go to the Gary Pierce Recovery Fund.  Doors open at 5:30 and Kudzu Junkies will take the stage at 6:30.

Center Stage is at 206 Rescia Avenue in Rainbow City.

To keep track of Pierce's recovery and to leave messages of support, visit the Prayers for Gary P page on Facebook.
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