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Boley Creek reunites to help friend with ALS

Published 7:00am Wednesday, May 21, 2014

 

FOR A FRIEND: Mark Toler has battled ALS since 2010 and was the catalyst for Boley Creek to reunite in efforts to help Toler defray medical costs and acquire much needed equipment. Photo submitted
FOR A FRIEND: Mark Toler has battled ALS since 2010 and was the catalyst for Boley Creek to reunite in efforts to help Toler defray medical costs and acquire much needed equipment.
Photo submitted

A benefit for Mark Toler, a former Pearl River Community College quarterback, will be held on May 24, at Southern Char Steak House.

The $50 a plate dinner will begin at 6 p.m., and features  blackened chicken alfredo. Entertainment will begin with Sandy Kane Smith and Melanie Wilkerson performing at 7 p.m. They will be followed by Boley Creek at 8 p.m, as they reunite for the first time in decades.

Boley Creek lead singer Geri Grubbs said the group started in 1989 and disbanded in 1996.

“David Adams and I had a conversation in a Delchamps aisle and that led to us forming the band,” Grubbs said. “We really did well for a while and even had a contract with Encore Records, a Nashville record company, but it was hard on our personal lives and there came a time when we all had decisions to make.”

Original members were Wendall Pearson, Geri Grubbs, David Adams, Joey Bounds, Travis Kennedy and Jeff Boone.  Allen Forsman and John Wolverton stepped in later as band members changed positions or moved on to other projects.

The group decided that their mutual friend, Mark Toler, was a big enough reason to reunite in an effort to raise money for his medical expenses.

Toler, a former quarterback for Pearl River Community College and realtor, was diagnosed with ALS in 2010.

A group of his friends got together to see how they could make a difference for him in his daily needs.

“Mark has always been so dependable as a friend and business partner that we wanted to be here for him the way he has always been here for us,” said Wayne Gouget.

“It costs around $700 a day just to keep him alive,” Grubbs said. “He is working to get a $4,000 cough assist machine that is portable and assists him when he chokes. The one that he currently has doesn’t have a battery backup and if they are driving on the interstate and Mark chokes, they have to pull off the road and find an electrical outlet to use the cough assist machine he has now.”

The bands will perform a free show in the Southern Char Steak House parking lot.

Mark Wallace will be the emcee for the evening.

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