Hillsboro’s Alley 21 Neighborhood Bar & Grille is sponsoring a benefit for the family of a child who was killed in a traffic accident last month.
Pam Bailey, one of the restaurant’s owners, said her friends April McGuire and Pat Purdin have been soliciting donations from area businesses and collecting gift cards and other items to pay medical bills and final expenses for the family of Toby Moore, a 2-year-old boy who died from injuries sustained in a car accident on North East Street Sept. 29.
“We’re just trying to get as many donations as possible to raise money to help out this family,” Bailey said.
The benefit event will take place from 2-6 p.m. Sunday Oct. 28, and will feature a 50/50 auction, bake sale and silent auction.
Tim Priest, president of Wilmington Savings Bank in Hillsboro, has helped Bailey in previous benefits and will emcee the event.
“I had learned about this tragedy a couple of days before Pam called me,” he told the Times-Gazette, “and I was hoping that someone would put something together for this family, and if nobody did, I was going to try to do something with my band Blue Steel.”
Priest said in the 30 years the band has been in existence, it has raised “a lot of money for this community.
“We’ll certainly do our part to help out this time, and when Pam contacted me to emcee, I told her we’d be happy to do all that we could,” he said.
Bailey’s granddaughter, 11-year-old Riley Holland, wanted to help out with the benefit after seeing how the child’s death affected her mother, who was one of the medical staff on hand following the accident.
“Mom came home and was crying and upset,” she said, “and I just felt like I wanted to do something to help them out.”
Holland is a sixth grader at Hillsboro Middle School.
“She called me and I told her ‘let’s do a bake sale,’” Bailey said. “She loves to bake so she’s going to get a couple of her friends together and they’re going to help out.”
At the bake sale, Riley said to expect to see lots of pumpkin-related goodies, like cake pops, pumpkin cookies, cupcakes and pumpkin muffins, in addition to Texas sheet cake.
Alley 21 will donate 10 percent of the price of all entrees ordered that day toward the event.
“We’ve got some awesome things for the benefit,” Bailey said, “and some of the neatest are some unique items courtesy of the Cincinnati Bengals.”
Bailey explained that she was in the restaurant a couple of years ago and saw two men seated at the bar having dinner — one of whom Bailey recognized as Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert. Bailey introduced herself and began a friendship with Eifert, who she describes as “a down-to-earth country boy and just an all-around wonderful guy.”
“After this accident happened, I decided I wanted something big for this benefit,” Bailey said. “So I wrote to Tyler on Facebook, re-introduced myself from our meeting two years ago and told him the story about this little boy and the accident.”
Bailey said she didn’t plan on getting a response, but to her surprise she received a text six days later from an acquaintance in Indiana whose son is friends with the Bengals player.
“She told me that she would make sure Tyler received the Facebook message,” she said, “and 45 minutes later his Dad called me and said that they would have a signed football and autographed jersey for the auction.”
Donations from individuals and businesses have been pouring in to Alley 21 since plans for the benefit were announced, so much so that Bailey said it’s getting crowded at the bar and grille, and at her own home.
“We’re getting so many donations… I hope we have room for the people,” she said.
Businesses and individuals wanting to donate items for the benefit at Alley 21 on Oct. 28 can contact Bailey at 937-661-1572 or McGuire at 937-403-3246.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.