Local Couple Remembers Ronald Reagan

R.L. Alford is an ordinary man, performing extraordinary deeds. Ten months after marrying his high school sweetheart, a car crash left his young bride a quadriplegic. Some 48 years later, through sickness and health, R.L. is still by her side.

"In my younger days I wouldn't worry with the wheel chair. I would just pick her up and go."

The Alford family was able to turn tragedy into triumph with help from friends and former president Ronald Reagan. Reagan read about the couple in a Florida newspaper and called to offer his help.

"I told him I know you received a lot of flack, but I think you've done a real good job. He told me I don't think my job was as awesome as yours."

Following the phone call, a check arrived in the mail, from Ronald Reagan - a donation to the Alford Supplemental Needs Trust Fund.

Juanice Johnson, R.L and Hillda Alford's daughter said, "Once he sent a check starting rolling in from all over the country. People that we didn't even know. Started off fund we desperately needed to care for mom. Had the fund every since."

Years later, Reagan reappeared in their lives, with another donation to help the family build a new home that was handicapped accessible.

"Wrote a little note inside and it had a little humor he said, "This is something to keep your lawn green," recalled R.L Alford.

The lawn is still green and their hearts forever warm by the compassionate commander and chief.

The fund that Ronald Reagan helped to jump start is still around today, and people can still make donations to the Alford Supplemental Needs Trust Fund at the Blountstown Church of Nazarene.