A community is coming together to help a family pay for medical bills.
Eleven-year-old Franklin Eason found out he had an inoperable brain tumor in 2013. Since then, he’s undergone chemotherapy treatment but it’s not working as well as his doctors and family hoped. Right now, they are trying to make Franklin as comfortable as possible.
Franklin’s family has been living in McLouth for as long as Tammy Bolinger can remember and she says she’s lived there for about 5o years.
“Linda, [Franklin's] mom, she grew up here. Her mom ran a restaurant here in town, so everybody knows them,” said Bolinger. “She donates her time during Christmas time, going around delivering fruit baskets to elderly people. They’re a very giving family, and a strong family, but there are just things they won’t ask for.”
So, a group of local women, who call themselves Moms Helping Moms, decided to get together and help the family out. Lisa Morando, Tatia Shelton and Tammy Stuart have come together to organize events to raise money for Franklin and his family to help them through this rough time.
“We’re doing this because we’re caring,” said Shelton, who’s lost a child of her own. “It breaks our heart, and this won’t be the first time that we do this, that’s for sure.”
The women have been meeting since November of 2013, trying to come up with a reason to give back to the community. They plan to take on other causes in the future.
“We’ve been trying to find reasons to do this, so we did a pamper your mom sort of thing and [then it] kind of grew,” said Shelton.
Shelton says to her, this is personal.
“I’ve lost a child so I know how hard it is,” said Shelton. “For me it’s a personal thing but all of us are just very giving, generous people and what better way to help somebody than to reach out and help a mom who needs some help?”
The fundraiser will be July 12th from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Morando says there will be a silent auction, a free cake walk for the kids, live music and much more, all in downtown McLouth.
“We currently have over 30 vendors coming to set up outside the store, [Tractor Town Treasures], up into the park and down the other side of the road,” said Morando.
The community has responded generously. Sonic has promised to provide 160 hotdogs with all the toppings, many vendors have offered 100 percent of their proceeds and community members are building baskets for the silent auction.
“Each vendor is donating a gift for the silent auction, and we’ve also gotten random gifts from other people,” said Morando.
The silent auction opens and breakfast will be served at 9 a.m. There will also be a 50/50 raffle to buy tickets for. At 11 a.m. live music will start in the park and lunch will be served during that time.
“We have a couple food vendors and we also have hamburgers and hot dogs that are being cooked by some community members and being sold. That money will go straight to [Franklin] as well,” said Morando.
For more about the activities, listen below.
T-shirts will be available for purchase for $10.
For those who want to donate a gift basket or money can check out Franklin’s Fight event page. Mail a check or money order payable to the Eason Family to Help Franklin’s Fight C/O Lisa Morando 501 E. Lucy McLouth, KS 66054.