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Fund for bulletproof vests growing

Special Photo. Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown, right, accepts a check from Chick-fil-A of Covington owner Chris Giella for $1,200 earmarked for purchasing Level III bulletproof vests for Newton County Sheriff's Office deputies. Giella and his wife, Amy, donated 10 percent of sales on a recent Saturday to the vest fund. Throughout the day, representatives of the NCSO were at the restaurant to greet the public. Brown expressed his thanks to the Giellas and to the community for their show of concern and appreciation for the job NCSO deputies and support staff members do.

Special Photo. Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown, right, accepts a check from Chick-fil-A of Covington owner Chris Giella for $1,200 earmarked for purchasing Level III bulletproof vests for Newton County Sheriff's Office deputies. Giella and his wife, Amy, donated 10 percent of sales on a recent Saturday to the vest fund. Throughout the day, representatives of the NCSO were at the restaurant to greet the public. Brown expressed his thanks to the Giellas and to the community for their show of concern and appreciation for the job NCSO deputies and support staff members do.

More than 250 individuals and groups have contributed to the fund established for the purchase of Level III bulletproof vests for Newton County Sheriff's Office deputies. The fund stands at more than $73,600, not including funds recently received from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Those contributing $1,000 or more include:

* Ginn Chevrolet

* Ginn Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge

* Newton Federal

* Marshall and Dawn Atha

* The Arnold Fund

* John and Diane Bowers

* Newton County Community Partnership

* Robert R. Fowler III

* Newton Baptist Church

* Covington Elks Lodge 1806 and Elkadettes

* Newton County Republican Party

* Ed, Charley and Rachael Needham

* Beaver Manufacturing

* Mary Jane Dixon

* Bethlehem Baptist Church

* Lisa Hayes

* First Presbyterian Church

* Chick-fil-A

* Several anonymous donations

The fund was established by Dawn and Marshall Atha after their son, Deputy Wesley Atha, was saved by his bulletproof vest. The fundraising goal is $113,000.

Donations to this cause can be made by check payable to the Newton County Sheriff's Office and earmarked for Safety Vests & Equipment. Donations can be mailed to the NCSO in care of Apryle Jones, 15151 Alcovy Road, Covington, GA 30014.