When her friend was shot about two weeks ago, Clara Edwards decided to make a GoFundMe page to help cover his medical expenses.
As of press time, Edwards, 27, raised more than $16,000 for Cliff James Deyampert, who was paralyzed from the waist down when his friend’s ex-boyfriend reportedly shot him July 25, according to a Gainesville Police Department report.
Deyampert is now at UF Health Shands Hospital.
Edwards said he doesn’t have health insurance.
Edwards, who is a bartender at Mother’s Pub and Grill, said she hopes to raise at least $100,000 to help Deyampert.
To do so, she and Deyampert’s friends planned two High Dive benefits called “Jammin for Cliff,” where all of the proceeds will be donated to Deyampert.
Both events, one on Tuesday and the other Aug. 27, will be held at High Dive, 210 SW Second Ave., and will feature live music.
More than 700 people said they will attend on Facebook.
“There’s just been an outpouring of support,” Edwards said.
Along with Chynna Masteller, Edwards is promoting the GoFundMe page and benefits on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.
Masteller, 27, said everyone who has ever met Deyampert has a connection with him.
With donations from friends, strangers and local businesses, Masteller said “we are facilitating so much love.”
“It’s kind of overwhelming, but it’s awesome,” she said.
She calls Deyampert driven, as he works at High Dive and Relish.
Event T-shirts from the company Deyampert owns with his friend and roommate, Jack Samson, are available. They are decorated with an illustration of Deyampert’s face surrounded by holistic healing stones.
Samson designed the shirts, and 100 percent of the money raised by them will go directly to Deyampert.
On the High Dive’s Facebook event page, it says: “(Cliff) invokes only the purest positive energy in everyone he meets. You have won the lottery to have Cliffy in your life and corner.”
[A version of this story ran on page 1 on 8/3/15]