Community Lifts Up Girls’ Ranch After Tragedy

    Girls from the Tallapoosa County Sheriff's Girls Ranch and friends enjoy the beach at Gulf Shores during their summer vacation. PHOTO BY CHRISTAL PRATER / USED WITH PERMISSION

    By Michelle Key
    and Hannah Lester

    The Lee County community has joined efforts from all across Alabama to show love and support to the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Girls Ranch, following a tragic traffic accident that occurred last weekend on I-65 in Butler County, taking the lives of 10 people.

    Candance Gulley, the director of the Ranch, is hospitalized from injuries that she suffered in the crash. Two of Gully’s children, Ben, age 3, and Isabella, age 16, perished in the accident along with two of her nephews, Josiah Dunnavant, 12, and 8-year-old Nicholas Dunnavant. Four girls that were residents at the Ranch also died. Their names and ages have not been released due to privacy concerns.

    Businesses, churches and individuals have jumped in to assist the Ranch with immediate and long-term needs. A meal train was established and can be found at Wayne Wommack, owner and operator of Backwater BBQ, set out to furnish frozen casserole meals that can be reheated and served as needed, and Gunners Auburn are planning a “Survivor’s Ride” to raise funds on July 24.

    For more information about that event visit their Facebook page

    A list of items that would help the approximately 12 girls that remain at the ranch was distributed and include the following:

    – gift cards to hair salons

    – gift cards to nail salons

    – gift certificates to entertainment venues such as Cyberzone, Goodtimes, Rock ‘N Roll Pinall or Surge

    – movie certificates

    – Ipads/tablets

    Other items that the  Ranch needs include:

    – linens

    – cleaning products

    – mops and brooms

    – light bulbs

    – insect sprays, moth balls

    – first aid supplies

    – batteries

    – pool chemicals, supplies

    – garbage bags

    – shovels, rakes

    – work gloves, safety glasses

    – rugs

    – printer paper

    – RidX for septic tanks

    – vacuum cleaner

    – air filters

    A Go Fund Me Account was established on Sunday afternoon for the Ranch to help cover funeral costs, medical care and other needs.

    By Wednesday morning, $493,833 had been donated. On Monday, accounts were also set up for the Dunnavant family and for the family of  29-year-old Cody Fox, of Marion County, Tennessee, and his 9-month-old daughter, Adriana Fox, who were also killed. Cody’s fiancé and Adriana’s mother, Hayle Anderson, survived but is hospitalized.

    The Go Fund Me accounts can be found at the following addresses:

    The Girl’s Ranch –

    The Dunnavant family –

    Hayle Anderson –

    Supplies and donated items can be taken to the Ranch’s office or mailed to

    Tallapoosa County

    Girl’s Ranch

    174 Samford Dr.

    Camp Hill, Alabama 36850.


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here