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Community supporting youth ranch, families impacted by crash

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 5:20 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A black ribbon has been placed in front of the Alabama Sheriff Youth Ranches headquarters to remember the eight children from the organization who died on Saturday.

Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch Director Candice Gulley was the only survivor. Youth Ranches CEO Michael Smith updated us on her condition.

“I’m so happy to tell you she is doing so much better and she should be getting out of the hospital this week,” Smith said.

Smith says members of the organization continue to heal from the tragedy and receive support from the community.

“People are volunteering to come cut our grass, take care of our cattle and our horses,” Smith said.

They’re also helping to pay funeral expenses for the families. Former ranch member Beverly Howard started a GoFundMe account and has already raised more than $490,000. She says the amount shows the heart of the community.

“There are good people it doesn’t matter from all walks of life we’ve gotten a dollar from somebody we’ve gotten thousands of dollars from somebody but it just means that everybody heart is in the right place in a giving place where they wanna do right that was so innocent life lost,” Howard said.

Smith says the funeral services for the girls will be held in the next two weeks. The organization is also planning a memorial for them sometime in July.

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