By: Ralph B. DavisManaging Editor
October 9, 2012
MATEWAN — Former heavyweight boxing champion of the world James “Buster” Douglas will appear at a benefit concert for a young 15-year old cancer patient from the Matewan area.
Ryan Dotson is battling the disease. Many pictures are being shared on Facebook of people in three-point football stances in support of Ryan.
A musical benefit will be held at the Matewan Fairgrounds Rotary Pavilion on Rt. 49 for Dotson starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13.
Douglas will have autographed boxing gloves and pictures that will be auctioned off to help raise more funds for Dotson’s medical bills. John Johnson, a native of Red Jacket, was Douglas’ manager when he shocked the world and defeated Mike Tyson for the heavyweight title.
Johnson, who also has ties to Ohio State University, has also obtained a football autographed by Archie Griffin. Griffin is the only 2-time Heisman Trophy winner in the history of college football and is currently and assistant AD at Ohio State. Johnson has also gotten an autographed football from the Oakland Raiders.
There will also be other items to be auctioned or raffled off including books written by Appalachian authors from Woodland Press. All of the proceeds go toward the medical bills for Dotson.
Dotson has been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments at the University of Kentucky. He is a student at Mingo Central High School. Before that, he attended Matewan Middle School where he played football.
The Dotson family lives at North Matewan. His mother Andreana Dotson said her son started playing football in the Matewan Little League when he was 5-years old. He has a birthday coming up on October 10, when he will turn 15.
Ryan also has played baseball since he was five.
“He loves playing football most of all,” his mother said. Thus all of the Facebook photos from hundreds of people supporting “Team Ryan” on that social network website.
Local musician L.E. Simpkins is organizing the musical event. He has pulled in several talented local singer-songwriters who have put out several CD’s. An area native, Greg “Jeep” White, who now resides in Charleston, South Carolina, will perform his original songs from his recent CD “Low Country.”
Local musician-songwriter Glen Simpson and his friend Glen Dillon will also perform.
“All of our performers will be on stage at that point for one big band,” Simpkins added.
A donation of $5 per person will be asked at the gate. Children 12-and-under get in free. There will also be a concession stand and all proceeds will go towards Ryan’s medical bills.
Anyone wanted to send a donation can mail it to Andreana Snell Dotson, P.O. Box 152, North Matewan, WV 25688. A bank account is also being set up this week and more information will be released on that at later date.
The performers will have their CDs available and any proceeds will go towards Ryan’s medical fund.
Simpkins thanked several sponsors for the benefit which include: David Akers, David “Dadoo” Cook, Linda’s Video and Lottery, Tony Carico, Tony’s Body Shop, Elizabeth Smith of Forest Hills Quilting, RC’s Country Store, Keith and Paula Blankenship, and the Matewan Rotary Club for their support and use of the venue.
“We want to see a lot of folks there and hope this will be a successful benefit,” Simpkins said. “I hope everyone will help spread the word.”