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Local community coming together to help one man pay for surgery after a gun accident

Published: Jun. 12, 2021 at 9:14 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 7:20 PM CDT
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PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - Residents in Pineville are doing what they can to see another person smile.

A few years ago, Christian Collister accidentally shot himself in the face during a gun accident.

On Saturday, Collister’s family members and a friend came together at the Main Street Truck Park for an event called “Save Face Through Grace.” The money collected from the raffle tickets sold at Saturday’s event will go towards Collister’s next surgery.

“He has another surgery coming up,” Tammy Ribaudo, Collister’s mother, said. “We need y’all, all of you, to help us rebuild my son.”

Collister underwent multiple surgeries since the accident. Currently, Collister only has 14 teeth in his mouth and needs more facial reconstruction.

Steven Hamel, a person at the Save Face Through Grace event, purchased 20 tickets. He believes his purchase is a way to pay it forward.

“That’s what we as Americans [do],” Hamel said. “We support each other.”

“As a mother, I’m touched by all of you giving your time, money and resources to help my son,” Ribaudo said. “So, thank you Cenla.”

“I just want to say ‘thank you’ to all of them,” Collister said. “Thank you to the Cenla community and especially my mom for putting it all together for me.”

Collister will have another doctor’s visit on June 17. Anyone who would like to help with Collister’s medical expenses can contact his mother (Ribaudo) at 727-709-5039.

Several vendors at Saturday’s event even said they are going to give all of their proceeds to Collister and his family.

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