CES Helps Community Cover Hospital Bills for Jennifer Suggs
On a small island just off the east coast of Florida, there’s a city called Fernandina Beach where you can find long beaches, a warm community, and a woman named Jennifer Suggs. Jennifer has lived in the town her entire life, and in recent years, her neighbors have been inspired by her heroic fight against metastatic breast cancer.
But after 14 rounds of chemotherapy and surgery, her insurance initially declined to cover her radiation. Covering the cost of all her care was a daunting, seemingly impossible task. Her best friend, Jennifer Morris, decided she needed to do something.
Jen Suggs Fall Festival
She reached out to the community Suggs had loved and lived in her whole life. She made calls and organized an event called the Jen Suggs Fall Festival that people could attend to help raise money for Suggs’ medical treatments.
The event started small, just a few people, but quickly grew as word quickly spread throughout the community. It seemed to be in the air — people everywhere were telling each other that Jen Suggs could use their help.
“It got to the point where we needed corporate sponsors,” explained Morris. “I reached out to about 15 companies, and CES was one of them.”
And when CES got the call, the perfect person to receive it picked up the phone.
“Jennifer’s a personal friend of mine,” said City Electric Supply Fernandina Beach Branch Manager Keith Platt. “I’ve known her my whole life, since I was five. Of course I said we’d help.”
CES donated money and merchandise to the event, and they weren’t alone. Six other community businesses joined to help Suggs’ cause.
“It was humbling,” said Morris. “She’s my best friend; she and my husband have known each other since grade school. Being there on the day — seeing approximately 300 people show up to support her financially and emotionally — was really cool.”
The Community Shows Up
Those 300 people were a wide mix from the area — some were close to Suggs, some hadn’t met her, and some hadn’t even heard of her before committing to helping. One friend in the crowd, you won’t be surprised to hear, was childhood friend Keith Platt.
“The event was a huge success,” said Platt. “Jennifer Morris found me and said that the money we gave put them over the top. Jen’s bills were covered, and that made me super happy.”
The event, complete with vendors, games, a bounce house, a petting zoo, a balloon artist, food trucks, and raffle baskets, was a tribute to Jennifer Suggs and the community that stands behind her.
“It goes to show the tightness of the community,” said Morris. “There were people who came out and had no idea who she was. People wanted to participate because they thought her story was inspiring.”
According to Morris, Suggs is still processing it all. Every donation, large and small, played a part in helping her, and we couldn’t be prouder that CES got to play a small part.
“CES is synonymous with community,” explained Platt. “This is our community. Jennifer is our community. We were happy to help, and we all wish her the very best.”