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Fundraiser to benefit wife of sheriff’s deputy
by Savannah Weeks
September 27, 2012 10:40 AM | 2062 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left, Rodney’s Barbecue owner Rodney Dobson and   Laurie Penney show a poster promoting the Ride For Renae fundraiser.
From left, Rodney’s Barbecue owner Rodney Dobson and Laurie Penney show a poster promoting the Ride For Renae fundraiser.
It’s not every day that a community rallies around a central cause, but that is exactly what Paulding County has done for Renae Hudgens, who was diagnosed with a rare brain disease.

Hudgens is the wife of Sgt. Mitch Hudgens of the Paulding County Sheriff’s Department.

Mrs. Hudgens’ disease, cerebellum ataxia, is so rare that the only doctor in the country who specializes in it practices in Texas, making treatment that much more expensive. Mrs. Hudgens also can no longer work because of the disease.

Laurie Penney and Rodney Dobson, who owns Rodney’s Barbecue in Dallas, formed a committee dedicated to organizing a fundraiser for Hudgens.

“This is really to help with their living and medical expenses,” Penney said. “Their medical expenses and co-pays are overwhelming.”

“A Day for Renae Hudgens” is set for Saturday, Sept. 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Rodney’s Barbecue at 4724 Dallas-Acworth Hwy. in the New Hope community.

The restaurant is pre-selling plates for $7, with $5 going to the fundraiser. They can be purchased by visiting

There is no cost to enter or park at the event, which will include music from the bands Justin Kelley and the Gun Show from 10 a.m. to noon; and Man Made from 1 to 3 p.m.

A dunk booth featuring Hooters waitresses; bingo games; and demonstrations featuring monster trucks and stunt motorcyclists will be featured.

Laura Leigh Farms will provide pony rides and a “pony dance.”

Mobile video games will also be at the event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A live auction is scheduled for 2:30. Penney said area businesses donated over $1,000 for the auction.

“These local businesses, like Ragsdale Heating and Air, Ace Hardware and Hardy Automotive, they give and give and give,” Penney said.

The American Legion also will sponsor a “Ride for Renae” at noon.

Penney said she was excited for the event and its impact on Hudgens and the community.

“It’s your community,” said Penney. “You’ve got to do something.”

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