The community of Holly Springs never ceases to amaze me. The support for charitable causes seems practically endless. On December 3rd, it was on display once again.
It started back on October 9, when a Holly Springs High School junior named Will Bucher was hit by a car on his motorcycle in Holly Springs. The accident left Will with multiple injuries, including an injury to his spinal cord, a collapsed lung, a broken collar bone and a broken wrist. He was placed on a ventilator and received 2 chest tubes.
Derek Fox, a local Holly Springs business owner, watched the accident unfold in his rear-view mirror. Derek rushed back to the scene to help. Although he only met the high school Junior for a moment, he connected with him. Will left the scene in an ambulance accompanied by his dad, Todd. Derek, being the only one there that could drive a manual, drove Todd’s car back to his home.
On December 2nd, Derek decided to try to raise awareness and help the family with a little extra financial support. “There’s only one thing that I can think to do to help…run,” Derek told me. Derek is a runner. By that I don’t mean that he gets out and jogs 3-4 miles when he runs. He successfully finished the 2016 Umstead 100, and is again registered for the 2017 race. The Umstead 100 is a 100 mile endurance run in Raleigh, that runners from all over the country come to compete in.
Derek quietly mentioned that he was going to run 100 miles in Holly Springs starting the night of December 2nd, and finishing 24 hours later. In his modesty, he didn’t want to make a big deal about it. I saw it on Facebook, and did everything I could to try to spread the word, and try to help the cause. The run took place at Womble Park.
The second time Derek met Will’s father, and the first time he met Will’s mother, was when he was starting his run. This wasn’t a long forged friendship that compelled him to run.
I showed up at 7am Saturday morning to see if there was anything he needed. In my head I pictured Derek running by himself, with a bottle of water or two, and maybe some crackers. To my surprise, the Holly Springs Run Club (HSRC) had set up camp under the gazebo by the tennis courts. There was enough drinks and food for 30+ people. Another welcome addition – portable heaters. When the runners came through on that lap, they stopped for a water/bathroom break, I found out that at no point was Derek running alone. Although he’s the only one that ran the full 22 hours, runners came and went to run with him, including the run team from Holly Springs High School. The HSRC showed up in force to support their fellow runner, and support Will. Among the abundance of food and drink, a card for Will, with well-wishes from Holly Springs and beyond. Derek ran 100.5 miles in 22 hours.
After Derek completed his run, the gofundme page that was set up for Will had a spike in the money raised, many donating in Derek’s name and in the name of the Holly Springs Run Club. At press time, $20,851 has been raised of the $25,000 goal that was set up. Derek was also able to give the family over $2,500 in cash that he raised directly from his run, allowing people to “stuff cash in his backpack” that he was running with.
Will is currently in Atlanta at the Shepherd Center and in good spirits according to his dad. He’s in intense rehab, and will soon be moving to a hospital campus apartment as he gets used to being in his wheelchair. Todd told me “Will is a very independent and very mature kid. He’s going to be fine. I told him that he can still do whatever he wants in life.”
If you would like to be part of Will’s recovery, the address for his gofundme link isgofundme.com/willbucher?r=42244
In this time when it seems so many are out for themselves, it’s nice to see people like Derek step up (literally) and do something selfless for someone he barely knows. I’m proud to have him as an advertiser, and lucky enough to be able to call him a friend.
You can find Derek almost every day at 55 AutoWorks in Holly Springs at 206 Premier Drive, where he owns and runs his auto repair business.