Barbecue and raffle fundraiser will benefit 42-year-old cancer patient Debbie Re
INDIAN TRAIL – Two months ago, Debbie Re’s world came crashing down when she was diagnosed with Stage IV lymphoma at only 42 years old.
But family, friends and neighbors in Bonterra – the neighborhood that’s home to Re and her family – are uniting in a community-wide effort to lift her up and help rebuild her broken world.
On Saturday, May 19, from 4 p.m. to midnight, Re’s friends and neighbors will throw a barbecue and raffle drawing fundraising event at the Bonterra clubhouse to support Re, who is currently undergoing aggressive chemotherapy. The entire community is invited to participate.
In March, the seemingly healthy Indian Trail mother of two was rushed to the emergency room after passing out. An X-ray showed an alarming mass in Re’s chest and she was transferred to a Charlotte hospital, where she was diagnosed with Stage IV non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The news was earth shattering. With two sons, ages 11 and 16, a husband out of work for more than 14 months and hospital bills mounting, Re and her family were overwhelmed, but they knew they had no choice. Re’s health – and life – were priceless.
Seeing Re and her family go through such a difficult time made Re’s friends and neighbors want to do something to help.
“She’s got an infectious smile that can motivate us to do whatever we need to,” said neighbor and friend Scott McGillivray, who is helping coordinate the fundraiser. “We wanted to raise some money to help offset the cost of the bills coming in.”
Bonterra residents threw a barbecue and golf tournament fundraiser event last year for a cancer patient and it was a huge success. This time, they chose to pursue a different avenue: a raffle drawing.
“A golf tournament costs a lot of money,” McGillivray said. “The only way to raise money is to not have to spend it.”
McGillivray teamed up with fellow Bonterra resident Kurt Andes and John Cervantes, Re’s boss at IJL Financial Advisors, to decide what to do. The three gathered about $1,000 and visited several local retailers, who worked to give them discounted prices on several large raffle prizes.
The fundraiser will raffle off a 55” LCD television, an Apple iPad2, a City Chevrolet convertible Camaro for a weekend, a City Chevrolet ultimate car detail and more. The event will include a barbecue meal, dancing, an inflatable bounce house and ice cream courtesy of Madison’s Coffee House.
The goal is to sell 4,000 raffle tickets, McGillivray said. Although they have sold more than half that amount, there’s still a handful waiting to be purchased. The tickets cost $5 each and are not limited to local residents.
McGillivray has been selling tickets to his family in Boston, and some of Re’s family members living up north also bought tickets.
“Our philosophy is, if you want to buy tickets, if you want to donate, we’ll get the (prize) to you,” he said.
The Re’s have already seen support from the community throughout this battle. Prior to starting her aggressive treatment, Re got to have a date night with her husband, free of charge at Vivace, her favorite restaurant. A Facebook page, a Caring Bridge account and a website, www.resawareness.com, all have been launched to keep the community updated and garner support.
“It’s truly about the community coming together and taking care of their own,” McGillivray said. “This is just what good communities do. Together, we’re going to beat this thing.”
For more information on Debbie Re, visit www.resawareness.com or her Facebook page, “Re’s Awareness.” To purchase a raffle ticket, contact Scott McGillivray at 704-320-1968. Tickets also can be purchased at the event. Winners will be announced that evening. Saturday’s event is at the Bonterra Clubhouse on Bonterra Boulevard, off Poplin Road.