Beloved Referee Breaks Down To Tears When Community Gifts Him A New Car

A 78-year-old volleyball referee and Navy veteran wasn’t going to allow anything to stop him from going to work, including the lack of mobility.

Lemuel Buster, was a former volleyball player, he loves serving the community in Paulding County, Georgia and even arrives early at games to help the coaches.

So when his car broke down recently, he spent hundreds of dollars on a car rental service so he could continue refereeing.

When asked why he did what he did, he said, “I made a commitment and a commitment means a lot to me.”

Posted by Kaitlyn Ross 11Alive on Monday, May 6, 2019

As a tribute to Buster’s passion for the community, the people of Paulding County, volleyball players and their parents decided to secretly raise dollars to fund a surprise for him.

When the day arrived, they brought him to the scene outside the rec center where community members lined the parking lot applauding for him.

Posted by Kaitlyn Ross 11Alive on Monday, May 6, 2019

He said, he saw mothers and fathers, with their cameras clicking pictures, and girls who were former players, he was wondering why they were all gathered there.

He finally got it when he saw a beautiful convertible Chrysler Sebring with a red bow on it waiting for him in the parking lot.

The community members and the parents had raised money to gift their beloved referee a new car, along with $2,000 to cover expenses of gas and tags.

“I will not ever forget this day as long as I live,” Buster said. “I’m in tears.”

Buster, considers all the players, their parents and the Paulding County community, as his family.

“These are my great-grandchildren. The parents are my children,” Buster said. “We’re family.”

Posted by Kaitlyn Ross 11Alive on Monday, May 6, 2019

Buster told the waiting crowd that he was going to drive the car straight to church and got it blessed by a priest.

Buster says that there are good people everywhere and all we need to do is smile.

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