VILONIA — The staff at the Vilonia Primary School are teaching students to read, write and reach out to help others.
Fundraising efforts were launched recently at the school to help the family of Roger Wilbanks, Jr., who was injured in an automobile accident Sept. 21 in Conway. Wilbanks’ son, Logan, is a third-grader at the school. At the time of the accident, Wilbanks had just been laid off from his job and they had no insurance coverage, according to his wife, Cynadel Wilbanks. The couple also have a 5-year-old daughter Avril.
With donations, the staff and students at the school have provided a gas card and a snack basket as well as set up an account for Wilbanks at Security Bank. They are also making plans for a coin and change drive as well as other fundraising efforts.
"We are just reaching out to a family any way that we can," principal Brian Ratliff said. "They need some help."
Contacted by telephone at Baptist Medical Center in Little Rock on Wednesday, Cynadel Wilbanks said her husband is expected to recover but with some long lasting effects. That’s "wonderful news," she said because it was unsure for awhile whether he would live or not.
"He suffered through some major injuries," Cynadel Wilbanks said. "His ribs were too broken to fix."
He has been moved to a rehabilitation unit at the hospital, she said, with hopes that he will be released home soon. Mrs. Wilbanks anticipates her husband will remain under a doctor’s care for a long time to come. Along with other issues, she said, he may require treatment for several years concerning his balance as well as his speech.
As well as her husband’s care, Cynadel Wilbanks said her current focus is on paying her bills.
"He has a lot of heart," she said. "I just don’t want to lose our house. He lost his truck and now this. I don’t know what we would do."
While Cynadel Wilbanks has been at her husband’s side, the children have been staying with family members. Anyone wishing to help with the fundraising may call the school at 796-2018 or make a donation at First Security Bank.