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Festival Raises Money for Injured Wrestler - John Dunn

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SPRING HILL, Tenn. --  There is a big show of support across two mid-state cities for high school wrestler Hunter Garstin on Saturday. The 15 year old freshman at Independence High School suffered a severe spinal cord injury last year. The focus is now on helping Hunter and his family.

The rain couldn't wash away the enthusiasm in Spring Hill on Saturday. The Spring 10 Fest on Port Royal Road has a special purpose this year. It is raising money for 15 year old Hunter Garstin.

The Independence High School freshman was paralyzed from the chest down while competing in a wrestling match last December. Ever since that accident, the community has rallied behind Hunter and his family.

Vendors sell food, crafts, and t-shirts. Many of them are donating all of their profits to Hunter. Jason Morris is the emcee and helps to introduce five bands on the main stage. "And we're raising some money for Hunter and the family to help pay for medical bills, you know, those things aren't cheap," says Morris.

Hunter has been back to school for several weeks, but his rehabilitation continues. Fundraisers like this one help make recovery a little easier. "He and his family are going through a lot, and they're going to continue to go through a lot, and need a lot of support from the community," says Independence High School teacher Elizabeth Grindstaff.

Spring Hill's mayor has declared Saturday "Hunter Garstin Day." His wrestling coach says the community support will only make Hunter stronger. "Hunter is a very strong individual and I have no doubt he's going to get to where he wants to get to, and we're going to keep moving forward," says Jared Grindstaff.

Spring time festivals are common in Middle Tennessee, but this one is special for its generous spirit.

People in Franklin are also raising money for Hunter Garstin. A welcome home bash is being held Saturday evening at the People's Church.

For news updates follow John Dunn on twitter @WZTVJohnDunn

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