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Friends "strike" out to help family of fatal crash victim

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

It's Monday night, and the lanes at the Danville Bowl-a-Rama are packed.

"I wasn't expecting this many people to be out here tonight," said bowler, Alea Bates.

"At first we were kind of scared that nobody was going to show up, but then all of a sudden, boom, it's a great turn out," admitted Sean Herndon, father of Joe Herndon, the focus on the charity bowling event.

Joe Herndon's bowling buddies wanted to help his family after the 20-year-old was killed in a January car crash. The idea was to do something that Joe loved: bowl.

"It's really great that this came together. It's really an honor to be able to do this for the [Herndon] family," said 16-year-old organizer and friend of Joe Herndon's, Brandon Hardin.

"[Joe Herndon] would probably give me a big ol' hug and say, 'You don't know how much this means,'" added MarConey Jayton, another bowling buddy of Herndon's who helped set up the event.

Together these two friends set out to create the first ever "Herndon Classic," to honor their friend and benefit his family.

"I know that Joe would've loved it. He would've been all over this, he would've loved to be here," said Joe's mother, Sheri, with a smile on her face.

For the Herndon's bowling was a special time, as both father and son would spend hours at the lanes.

"We had some good times together, we really did. I watched him bowl 299 in our league and I was excited because he was the bowler and I wasn't," proudly recalled Sean Herndon.

Tonight, the "Herndon Classic" raised more than $800, and even more the friends and family know they honored a man who meant so much to so many.

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