Artists, bikers and community help critically injured minister
It just took a split second for Indian Trail resident Dave Bartholow’s life to change. The minister and tattoo artist was looking for a cell phone that had fallen out of his car when he was hit by another vehicle. The pastor was thrown 30 feet into the air and critically injured.
While the quick response and hard work of emergency and medical professionals saved his body, those touched by the Bartholow ministry are doing their part to save his tattoo shop and keep his family afloat, according to friend Paul Gentilini.
“Full Moon Tattoos is no ordinary tattoo shop,” notes Gentlini. “Dave and his wife Lora offer scripture, food and clothing to those who would never think to set foot inside an ordinary church.” Gentilini credits Bartholow with inspiring him to begin is own urban outreach. “When I found out what happened to him I decided to help.”
Taking care of ‘everything else’
Together with Pirate’s Den tattoo shop owner Jerry “Bones” Mountain and Indian Trail-based With Love From Jesus Ministry Administrator Joy McGuire, the group is close to raising the $5,000 needed to support the shop and its related expenses until January.
“Dave won’t be able to get back to work until then,” wife Lora Bartholow said. “They said ‘you just worry about Dave and we’ll take care of everything else,” she said in amazement, adding that help has come from places she never imagined. “The church has helped to clean, and the firemen have helped to cut the lawn.”
Although others might think of Mountain as being in direct competition with Dave, he doesn’t see it that way. “In our opinion there shouldn’t be any rivalry – there’s just no time and no energy. We should look out for each other and stick together.”
Mountain did just that during the weekend of September 16 to 18, when he raised $3000 by rallying four tattoo artists and a body piercer to donate 100 percent of their earnings to the Bartholow fundraiser. In addition, Mountain offered discounts on merchandise and recruited Midland-area “Squeegie Tees” artist to design and donate proceeds from sales of more than 40 T-shirts.
Motorcycle Ride-A-Thon Fundraiser
To meet their fundraising goals, Mountain and Gentilini are organizing a motorcycle Ride-A-Thon Sunday, Sept. 25 from noon to 3 p.m. at popular biker hangout Easy Eddies, 12125 Statesville Road, Charlotte. Rides to Pinky’s on Freedom Drive last 15 minutes and cost $20 for twosomes and $30 for individuals. “Anyone with passenger and riding experience can help out,” Mountain said.
Donations and rider registration can be made on Ride-A-Thon day. For more information, contact Bones at 704.425.3850 or Gentilini at 704.315.9895. Tax-deductible donation to the Bartholow Family can be made out to With Love From Jesus and earmarked “Bartholow.” Donations can be mailed to With Love From Jesus, 5226 Indian-Trail Fairview Road, Indian Trail, NC 28079.
A member of the Probationary Motorcycle club, Mountain and his fellow members plan on participating. “There will be various members of lots of 3-piece patch motorcycle clubs participating,” he explained. “These groups do a lot around the community to raise money where it is needed.”
Praying for a full recovery
Despite hundreds of stitches, pins in his body and even a craniotomy, Dave’s body is healing well, according to Lora. His brain injuries, however, continue to present a challenge. She nevertheless attributes the fact that he is alive, can see, and can hear, to Christ. “He has a very big role for Dave,” she said. “it is just going to take time – but I fully believe he will recover 100 percent.”
Her words of praise for those who have stepped up to help are boundless. “God is really doing great things,” Lora said.