Barbecue supper supports man injured on the job

'Red' Patterson seeking to rejoin the workforce
Mar. 12, 2013 @ 05:00 AM


What: Benefit dinner for Ronald "Red" Patterson

When: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 16

Where: White Hill Presbyterian Church, located at 3301 White Hill Road, Sanford

How much: $8 for BBQ pork or chicken plate (dine in, carry out or delivery)

Contact: Call Phyllis Boggs at (910) 551-9697 or Vera Cothran at (919) 776-3119


When Ronald Patterson turns 51 this Saturday, friends and family are hoping people from all around the area come out to a benefit dinner held on the Sanford native's behalf.

Patterson, who goes by Red, was in a construction accident while an employee of Sanford construction company Charles R. Underwood Inc. more than 30 years ago that nearly killed him and rendered his legs nearly useless.

"I was working down in South Carolina, and I had a piece of equipment that exploded," he said.

Patterson said he was immediately flown to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, spending a month in various units. That was in 1980, and after years in a wheel chair and then a walker, he's thinking of returning to work. The benefit this Saturday — set for 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at White Hill Presbyterian Church, with $7 plates of either BBQ pork or grilled chicken plus sides, a drink and a desert — is to help with some of his expenses as he prepares to begin physical and occupational therapy in Fayetteville in hopes of being able to return to a construction job.

And not only does Patterson want to get back into construction, he wants to rejoin the same company he was with when he was so injured. He explained that he has no animosity toward Underwood, Inc. and is actually incredibly appreciative for all the support they've shown him in the decades since the accident.

"They got a spot saved for me — they want me to go into the office, but I want to go back into the field," he said, later adding: "They're really good people. They've been excellent to my wife and my family."

Vera Cothran, Patterson's aunt, said she doesn't know any person who has fought harder than Patterson, who she said was also in a car accident several years ago that set his recovery back further, and she's hoping that some of the hard work and kindness he has shown will be repaid this weekend.

"He would do anything in the world for anybody and not charge them a penny," Cothran said. "... I don't know one person who could say a single thing against him."

Those with questions about the benefit dinner — which is available for dine-in, carry-out or delivery — can call Cothran at (919) 776-3119 or Phyllis Boggs at (910) 551-9697.