Provided by Becky Miller
This weekend, in a true example of the Christmas spirit, the citizens of Toledo are joining together for a two-day event to raise money for two local families who are dealing with financially crippling medical issues. Kirk Young, the 18-year-old son of Mary Young (former City Councilwoman in Toledo and owner of Milltown Coffee Depot), contracted MRSA a couple of months ago and has spent weeks fighting for his life. He had no insurance. John Poet had surgery in September for cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy.
On Saturday night, December 17, Twisted Snout Brewery will host a benefit concert and dance featuring the band Argosy. The band will play starting at 9:00 pm. A $5.00 cover charge and all profits from the night’s sales will go directly to the two families.
Additionally, Argosy, which is donating its performance for the night, will be selling the band’s CDs and donating half the sales. The band performs a blend of original music and covers of classic rock songs.
Day two of the fundraising event is Sunday, December 18, when Pig Feathers BBQ will host a silent auction and buffet barbecue luncheon that will include pulled pork sliders, barbecued ribs, wings, and salads. Donation is $10 per person and all profits from the lunch, as well as the full amount raised by the silent auction, will be donated to the two families.
Local businesses and individuals have donated numerous items for the auction that will give people an opportunity to do some Christmas shopping and help some local families at the same time. Donated items include many gift baskets and gift certificates, as well as special experiences, such as a meal for eight people with the firefighters at the Fire Hall in Toledo, a private dinner and studio tour at the home of artist Michael Gibbons ($1,000 minimum donation), a one-month membership to Firehall Clayworks, and two fishing trips on the Miss Raven. Winning bidders could have treats delivered each month, including giant pizzas (Cobblestone Pizza), desserts (homemade by Laura Myers), or flowers (Toledo Florist). Other hot items include a bicycle, an upright piano, a one-hour Swedish massage with hot stones (Central Coast Massage), lunch or dinner for two at the Chowder Bowl, handmade quilts by Michelle Amberg, fine art from Douglas Haga and Caroll Grant Loomis, and much more.
Becky Miller, the organizer of the event, says she is overwhelmed by the generosity of local businesses and individuals. “After gathering items up and down Main Street in Toledo, I couldn’t help but think that the best way to march on Wall Street is to shop on Main Street, where business owners care about their customers and where your spending actually benefits the local community.”
On August 4th, John Poet, who is a supervisor for Direct TV out of Albany, came down with appendicitis, and when doctors discovered cancer, he had surgery to remove half of his colon. He is in the midst of a six-month course of chemotherapy. His wife, Shellie, who works in Toledo for Abel Insurance Agency, said, “We are so very thankful that our community would go to such measures to help us.” John and Shellie have two young daughters.
Kirk Young’s battle began in his hip and progressed to pneumonia. After two surgeries to remove the bacteria, it moved to his heart. After three surgeries on his hip and 8 days of vangomyocin, he finally began to respond. His intense medical treatment continued at home for weeks. Should he reinfect or if the infection becomes active again, he could become resistant to the vangomyocin as well, particularly since he was subjected to too-strong a dose when he was sent home and went into kidney failure.
“Mary Young has been particularly hard-working and generous in raising funds to help other local families this year,” Becky said. “The community’s love for her is obvious, and I am delighted to see that people are so willing to give something back to help her now that she is dealing with a crisis of her own. This is a great example of what is so beautiful about living in a small town where people really care about each other.”