The community is invited to come out and support Derek Wright and his wife Angie on Saturday, Aug. 11 at Whiteoak High School to help raise funds to pay for the Mowrystown area man’s mounting medical bills.
Wright had surgery for non-aggressive prostate cancer, even though the hospital told him it would not take his insurance, according to a news release sent to The Times-Gazette detailing Saturday’s benefit. He started going to the Cancer Center of America facility in Chicago last year for seven weeks of radiation therapy.
This past April he underwent emergency surgery to remove a tumor on his spine that if left untreated, could have resulted in paralysis, the news release said.
Wright is now being treated with daily medication to combat what is now stage four prostate cancer. It has spread to his spine, ribs, pelvic area and legs, according to the news release.
And the bills continue to pile up.
Hosted by the Mowrystown Lions Club, the benefit event came about because two friends decided to take action.
Janie Wills is the special education secretary at Eastern Local Middle School and remembered when she and a fellow teacher heard of Wright’s situation.
“Kara called me into her classroom and said ‘we gotta do something,’ Wills said, speaking of Kara Juillerat, information technology teacher at Eastern Middle School.
That call-to-action was the beginning of what Juillerat calls “a community effort.”
The fundraiser begins Saturday at 4 p.m. with a pulled pork dinner, a silent auction and live music from Zach and Annie Brown, and the Family Band.
A live auction with many items up for bid will kick off at 7:30 p.m.
“Stuff is absolutely just pouring in,” Wills said.
Other activities are planned including as a Cupcake Jackpot and a Split the Deck.
A kid’s zone is a fun part of the evening where parents can make a donation for their kids to be monitored by Whiteoak athletes and coaches in the old gym at Whiteoak High School.
T-shirts will be sold for $10 each the for those who did not preorder their shirt.
A big highlight of the evening will include two raffles, one for a Sig Sauer 1911 pistol and safe, and the other for a 2018 John Deere Gator. Tickets for the Gator raffle are $25 each or five for $100.
“All proceeds raised from this event will be matched up to $2,500 by Modern Woodmen,” said Tyler Ayers, the insurance company’s activities coordinator for the local area.
“Being a fraternal life insurance company we always have funds available for things like this,” Ayres said.
He added that being a non-profit organization, Modern Woodmen last year gave more than $1.5 billion in support of events in Ohio like the benefit for Derek Wright.
For more information on the benefit, to make a contribution or to purchase gun or gator raffle tickets, text or call 937- 205-5174, 937-515-1178 or 937-763-1234.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.