Prayers for Mr. Penny - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Prayers for Mr. Penny

The man people in Auburnknow as Mr. Penny is still listed in critical condition at the East Alabama Medical Center from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Wednesday night, withcandles held high, a crowd of people who love Johnny Richmond gathered in Auburn to pray for him.

For almost four decades,he has not only helped children at Dean Road Elementary School in Auburn crossthe street, but Mr. Penny has touched so many lives with his spirit and smile.

"It really touched myspirit.  It really lifted me up because Iam hurting down deep inside, but when I saw all these people in support of mydaddy it made me feel good," said his daughter, Marenda Richmond.

Richmond says she and herfamily are overwhelmed by all the support from the community, and, even though herfather is still listed in critical condition, she says he is makingprogress.  She says he is trying tobreathe a bit on his own and can respond to commands to move his fingers.

"I asked him if heloved me, hold up one finger and he did. Then, I asked him if he loved me hold up two fingers, and he did it."

Auburn City CouncilmanArthur Dowdell helped to bring the group together.

"Keep the faith.  Believe. And regardless of what the situation looks like, it is not what it lookslike.  It is going to be turnedaround.  I believe," said Dowdell.

The crowd is a smallexample of the lives Mr. Penny has touched by either his love for children orhis passion for Auburn University.

"I asked him if heloved Auburn and I said War Eagle, and if you know you are number one, hold upone finger, he held up one finger like this. And God is good," said his daughter.

A fund has also been setup in Mr. Penny's name at Auburn Bank and you can make donations at any Auburn Bank branch.  Donations to thefund will be distributed to cover medical expenses and family needs.

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