During my time at The Walton Tribune, a text from Monroe fire Capt. Jack Armstrong often was a matter of life or death.
Someone’s house may be on fire, or there was a serious car crash in the city, and he’d be letting me know about it.
I got a message from him last Friday with another pretty serious message, but not about the kind of public safety emergency we’d normally discuss. Instead, the Monroe Fire Department is putting its weight behind helping a little girl many of you may know.
Arria Grace Ingram is 3, and she’s battling a rare genetic disorder that’s causing the right side of her body to grow at a rapid rate. She’s had four leg surgeries including two amputations. The first was of her foot at just 9 months old, and then her leg was amputated at the knee this time last year.
She’s the daughter of Brian and Kallie Ingram, of Covington.
Friends and supporters of the family have put together a concert to help with their medical costs as they get Arria Grace the care she needs — care that includes monthly trips to a children’s hospital in Boston and work to try and stave off a disease that threatens to shut down her organs.
Singer/songwriter Lawson Bates will be in Monroe next weekend for a special concert that will raise money to help Arria Grace and her family.
Bates — featured with his family on the reality program “Bringing up Bates” — has used his musical gifts to help others. He’s doing it again here with the show at 7 p.m. May 19 at Lighthouse World Outreach Center. That’s at 609 Gene Bell Road in Monroe.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children 6 to 12. There is also a $55 VIP ticket including a meet-and-greet opportunity with Bates and his band before the show, an autographed album, a photo op and preferred seating.
“Not only will the concert be great, but the proceeds raised will go to the Ingram family to assist in a continuing battle for their sweet, little girl,” Covington businessman Ross Bradley, a member of the Monroe City Council, wrote on his Facebook page.
“Community is my favorite word, and this is our time to shine.”
So far, the community has shone. Armstrong told me Friday half of the 1,000 tickets have been sold, and that’s before a piece that’s expected to air on one of the Atlanta television news morning shows the first of the week.
Given the support I’ve learned about for Arria Grace in the past few days, I suspect you’d better get moving if you want a seat next week.