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Tourism Group to Hold Copeland Fundraiser

Snellville Tourism and Trade will be raising money for Aimee Copeland during a special family weekend June 15-16. Loganville's "voice" Jordan Rager will be one of the performers.

Snellville tourism officials are dedicating its upcoming Sizzling Summer Weekend to raising funds for Aimee Copeland and her family.

Joe Burnett, executive director of Snellville Tourism and Trade, said focusing on the Copeland family for the family event made sense. The event already was planned, and all the tourism group had to do was shift gears slightly.

Besides, he said, Snellville is the place "where everybody's proud to be somebody."  The slogan -- changed few years ago -- fits perfectly with helping the Copeland family, Burnett said.

"We're treating someone like somebody," he said. "It's a normal occurrence for Snellville to do this."

The event will be June 15-16.

The concept to turn Sizzling Summer Weekend into a fundraiser for the Copeland family came from an idea from Vickie Gallup and Brianna Gallup Quador, Snellville residents who heard about Copeland's story and wanted to do something to help.

"I said something needs to be done in our home town, so we decided to bite the bullet and do it," said Vickie Gallup, who's called Snellville home since 1990.

Burnett said bringing Sizzling Summer Weekend together with the Gallups' work "was the perfect marriage."

He added "it looked like the right thing to do, so it snowball from there."

Gallup said she and her daughter -- who actually graduated with Aimee Copeland from South Gwinnett High -- have been working overtime to make sure the benefit event is a success.

So, far acts such as , Elements of StyleBanks & Shane, Thad Clark, are expected to be there. In addition, David Greene, a retired professional football player from Snellville, will be available to sign autographs, take pictures and even play flag football with children.

Also, Gallup hopes to get more well-known sports figures committed to the event.

"That warms heart," she said. "It makes me feel that people are really stepping up and want to help Aimee."

There will be a number of volunteers at the event with containers to take up donations. Any amount is welcome.

Also, mobile blood donation trucks will likely be at the Sizzling Summer Weekend event.

Last year, Burnett said there were about 1,500 people there. This year, he said he'd be surprised if 4,000 to 5,000 people didn't come.

"I think it's going to be huge," Gallup. "I think there are going to be a lot more people than we’re even expecting."

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