Houston & Peach

Warner Robins police chief to help raise money for sick child

WARNER ROBINS -- Police Chief Brett Evans is expected to be dunked for a good cause Saturday.

The city’s top-ranking law enforcement officer has agreed to sit in a dunking booth at PunchFront Gymnastics & Cheer’s open house and fundraiser for 13-year-old Megan McMullen of Perry, Florida. Megan, who is battling a liver tumor, is the niece of PunchFront staff member Melissa Crum of Bonaire.

The open house is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at PunchFront, 2954 Moody Road. The new business is located in the former YMCA building.

Mayor Randy Toms also is expected to attend the event, which includes a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11:45 a.m.

“I’m excited to welcome a new business that will offer many things for young children in Warner Robins and am humbled to be able to partner with Mayor Randy Toms to raise money for a sick child in need,” Evans said.

Chrystie McIlwain, PunchFront owner and gymnastics director, said she already was planning the open house and decided that would be a good way to raise money to help Megan and her family.

“Her story just kind of touched me,” said McIlwain, who considers Megan part of the extended family at PunchFront.

The business, which has been in operation about a month, already has raised more than $300 for the girl by holding an open gym on Friday nights.

“I’m very grateful for everyone, especially in this area,” said Crum, whose brother, Mitchell McMullen, is Megan’s father. “We have a lot of great people in Houston County.”

Megan’s mom, Patricia McMullen, also was touched that people in another state are raising money to help her daughter.

“I’d like to tell them all thank you,” she said. “God bless ‘em.”

McMullen said she’s also thankful for prayers for Megan.

At the fundraiser Saturday, attendees can pay $5 and get three balls for a chance to dunk the police chief. The proceeds will go toward Megan’s medical and travel expenses. She’s being treated by doctors at the University of Florida Health Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville, Florida.

Donations also will be accepted.

In addition, the open house will feature other activities, including an 18-foot water slide, face painting and a visit from a police dog.

For more about Megan’s story or to make a donation to help her, visit http://www.gofundme.com/za8287y.