BUENA VISTA, Va. – Rockbridge County residents demonstrated the meaning of "South River Strong" in a sweet way Sunday.
The Buena Vista Fire Department organized a cake walk, best described as musical chairs with cake, to support the families devastated by last month's deadly South River Market gas station explosion. Community members brought in dozens of cakes, and the Buena Vista fire hall barely had enough space to fit all of the attendees.
"It's overwhelming. I never thought it would be this many people," said Buena Vista firefighter Amy Coffey. "Everybody kept telling me that it was going to be a crowd and we weren't going to be enough room, but I never thought it would be this many."
Numerous fundraisers have occurred across Rockbridge County for South River Market during the past month. The cake walk and simultaneous silent auction Sunday raised thousands more dollars for the familes, and organizers believe the community will continue to step up to support them.
"It's neighbors helping neighbors," Buena Vista firefighter Courtney Austin said. "This is a wonderful community."
"It's a very close-knit community, and people have love in their hearts," Coffey added. "It's unfortunate that it takes stuff like this to bring people together, but that's what we do as Rockbridge County."