A benefit event last weekend raised more than $6,500 for a man who was severely burned in an industrial accident.
Pam Barton said she was overwhelmed by the community’s generosity and its willingness to help out her and her husband, Josh Barton, who suffered third-degree burns over 25 percent of his body in a Jan. 24 accident at AK Steel’s Ashland Works.
Josh Barton, 36, an employee of Stein Inc., an AK Steel contractor, was flash-burned by oxygen escaping from a leaky valve. He was initially given only a 50 percent chance of survival.
Saturday’s benefit was an all-day event at the Ashland Eagles Club featuring 10 local bands and singers. Pam Barton said the club was packed from the time the music started before noon until it ended Saturday night.
“We had 70 people there before noon (the scheduled starting time), so they opened the doors early and Kebo (Cyrus) started playing early, and at one time there were 75 people in line to get in the door,” she said. “It was unbelievable. Our brothers and sisters at the Ashland Eagles and Gypzy Roze (co-sponsors of the event) really outdid themselves.”
Pam Barton said a number of local businesses donated items to be sold to raise money. In many cases, she said, people who bought them would turn around and give them back so they could be re-sold.
“It’s not that they didn’t want them, they just wanted as much money to be raised as possible,” she said. “The way all the communities came together for one person, it’s just hard to believe. It was the best feeling ever to know the impact that Josh has had on so many lives.”
Pam Barton said money raised through the event would be a tremendous help to the couple while Josh Barton recovers.
“We need to get a home in Coal Grove. That is our next step,” she said. The Bartons currently live in Ironton.
Josh Barton was released Friday from the burn intensive care unit at Cabell Huntington Hospital, where he was taken following the accident.
“He is still blistered on his chest, but looking good,” his wife said.
KENNETH HART can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2654.