This Saturday, Aug. 19, the Tri-Towns community will come together to celebrate the incredible life of 10-year-old Keymani Wilson.

By Trish Morgan
For the News Tribune
This Saturday, Aug. 19, the Tri-Towns community will come together to celebrate the incredible life of 10-year-old Keymani Wilson.
Keymani actually has no idea that this day will be just for him. He will be coming into Piedmont for a very special event being held in his honor, although he thinks he's coming up to visit his family here.
He and his mommy D'Andra Hawk Wilson and sister Kellee are coming up for the Truck Pull for Keymani, held at Tri-Towns Volunteer Fire Department in Piedmont. Also coming will be husband Kelley and maybe brother Marquel Kayvion if he does not have a football game.
Keymani is the grandson of Frances Keyes Wilson, who is a member of the fire company. The Keyes family has been involved with Tri-Towns Fire Department since 1919.
Betty Keyes of Piedmont is the great-grandmother of Keymani and she will be at Saturday's event, as well. Keymani calls her "Olma," calls Frances "Mom" and his mom "Mommy."
Yes, it will be a family affair with "Olma," "Mom," "Mommy" and Keymani's family, but it will also be a community affair when the community comes out to support the event and help raise money for Keymani's family with the rising costs of medical care.
Keymani has had three brain surgeries since March of this year, and will undergo his fourth brain surgery right after this event is over on Aug. 24. At that time, he will have the bone plate put back into his skull. He had it removed during his last surgery because infection had set in, and it has taken six weeks to disinfect the plate so that it could be placed back where it belongs.
The medical costs for all of the surgeries and treatments have added so much burden to the household. You can only imagine the cost of brain surgery, let alone three brain surgeries and one yet to come. Personally, I cannot imagine how anyone would be able to afford the surgeries, even with insurance.
Tammy Kady of Westernport has been working with the family to pull together this event quickly so that money can be raised to help the family pay the medical expenses that are not covered by insurance. Tammy and the committee have been able to reach out into the community to find donations for raffles, and the generosity has been humbling.
I'll tell you a little more about everything that is happening at the truck pull for Keymani on Saturday, but I would like to first tell you a little story about what a wonderful organization the Washington Redskins is. Keymani recently returned from a very special weekend at the Redskins' training camp in Richmond, Virginia.
Trent Williams, # 71 of the Redskins, is Keymani's favorite player. Keymani had the privilege of staying in the owner Daniel Snyder's tent during his stay over the weekend, and Trent stayed right there with him. Trent ran drills and plays with Keymani, and Keymani even had a one-handed pass from Trent to score a touchdown that day! Visit my Facebook page for a slideshow of that very special day, and you will be able to see how much fun both Keymani and Trent had that day. What a special man Trent Williams is! A busy man getting ready for the 2017 football season, yet taking time to pay special attention to Keymani and other children with needs.
Registration for the truck pull on Saturday begins at 4 p.m. at the fire station on Second Street in Piedmont. The truck pull itself begins at 5 p.m.
There is no entry fee for teams to participate in the truck pull. However, donations of any amount are appreciated. Teams are to consist of 10 team members who can be friends, sports teams, volunteer fire departments and rescue companies, businesses, clubs and groups, and even children. If children would like to be involved as a team in the truck pull, there is no limit of team members for a children's team. That team can include as many children as needed.
The team that pulls the fire truck the greatest distance in the quickest time will win a specially-designed plaque for the winner. Keymani will be in the front seat of the firetruck for each pull.
The Truck Pull for Keymani runs until 8 pm, and will include raffles, 50/50, food concessions and a gigantic bake sale full of made-from-scratch goodies. The baked goods area will be filled with specialties by Frances Wilson, who is famous for her homemade pies, apple dumplings, zucchini bread, fudge and potato candy. Ask anyone in Piedmont if they have tasted anything baked by Frances and you'll find many who answer YES!! There will also be other event volunteers making cupcakes, cookies, cakes and many other items at the bake sale.
Also featured at the event will be the Shriners clown cars, raffle items including handmade wreaths, gift certificates, a television and more! Tammy has created a Redneck Dunk Tank, which will prove to be one of the highlights at the event. Come and see who the bucket of water dumps on!!
Chuck Russell and some Keyser Boy Scouts will be popping fresh popcorn throughout the event - free for everyone! First responders are invited to display their apparatus, and everyone attending is encouraged to wear purple to symbolize epilepsy awareness.
Tri-Towns businesses are welcome to decorate using the color purple to support the event. Purple balloons will lead everyone to the fire station, and parking is available around the area. There will also be music by a local DJ, and concessions will be available.
I know this coming weekend is a very busy one. There are many things to choose from to do. I encourage you to put this event on your calendar, and come out and show this young fella how much we care about everything he has had to go through. How wonderful it would be for Keymani to come into town - all decorated in purple - and hundreds and hundreds of people gathering around to have fun for three hours Saturday evening.
Please keep Keymani in your prayers as he faces another surgery next week. And, if you are unable to attend the truck pull on Saturday and would like to help in any way, you can send a check made payable to D'Andra Wilson, PO Box 1954, Gloucester, VA 23061. If you would like to share your blessings in life with this family, it would be much appreciated. God's blessings, my friends.