When she initially planned a fundraiser for Kyce Burns, Hillsboro High School Secretary Angie Juillerat hoped she would be able to raise up to $5,000 for the 15-month-old baby who was diagnosed with a brain tumor last month, but she was elated when the event pulled in more than $16,000.
“I cannot even put into words how shocked I was when we added everything up,” said Juillerat. “I don’t know why I’m so shocked because I shouldn’t be shocked with this community we have.”
Kyce underwent extensive surgery this month to have a brain tumor removed and will remain in the hospital throughout Christmas and beyond. According to his parents, Tre’ and Rachael Burns, Kyce is required to undergo therapy and will need more surgeries in the future.
“The baby does have cancer, so they’re in for a long haul with this, I’m sure,” said Juillerat.
Three coolers – small, medium and large – full of donated products worth more than $4,000 were raffled off during the halftime of the Hillsboro vs. McClain boys varsity basketball game at Hillsboro High School last Saturday. The winners of the coolers from largest to smallest were local residents Nick Naylor, Steve Edison and Emily Jackson.
A split-the-pot raffle that was also conducted throughout the day of the game drew a pot of $600 that was won by Kyce’s father, Tre’, so the winnings will be used for Kyce’s care.
“When we finally got the count together and I let my husband know, I just cried,” said Juillerat. “God blessed this; He truly did because He opened people’s hearts up, and people just gave. It’s crazy because here we are with the holiday, and I’m sure people are tight with money, but they still reached in their pockets and they pulled it off.”
Juillerat said the amount of donations drew an emotional response from Kyce’s family. She said the family, “just thanked everyone from the bottom of their heart for the prayers and support from the community.”
“Tre’ even mentioned the fact that it’s been a while since he had come back to this high school and he was amazed to be away for so long and come back here knowing that people haven’t forgotten about him and that there’s people that care,” said Juillerat. “He said, ‘People stepped out, and they cared about my son, and I can never thank anyone enough for that.’”
Juillerat is planning a silent auction of signed Cincinnati Bengals items – some signed by J’Marr Chase – to be held after Christmas that will also benefit Kyce. She said details will be announced when they are finalized.
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.