The third annual Hatcher Wheatley Benefit took place at the Bannock County Fairgrounds today, and almost 2,500 Eastern Idahoans joined in on the fun.
“Our donation cans are filling up, it’s free admission but people are filling up our donation bins,” said Amber Davis, Hatcher Wheatley’s director of marketing.
Donation bins being full is the best problem to have, and for the friends and family of Hatcher Wheatley, it’s the best way to pay back the support they received 3 years ago.
“Not only show that how much we appreciated it,” said Randy Wheatley, Hatcher’s dad and president of the foundation, “but help bring others into the cause to show them it’s not always about yourself.”
This year’s fundraiser is to benefit Melissa Young, a widowed mother of 3 children who was recently diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia.
“Stay positive and keep going, and I have tons of people around me to help and be supportive,” said Melissa on how she’s moving forward.
Melissa’s hope is what is keeping her going, and that hope comes from her generous community through monetary donations as well as the swab drive to find a match for a potential bone marrow transplant.
“It’s simple, it’s easy, it takes about 5 minutes, paperwork and swab and they’re on the registry,” added Amber Davis.
Proceeds from today’s live auction, raffle, and entry donations to the main bull riding event are to fund a make a wish trip for a Blackfoot boy, but after that, all the money goes toward taking some of the burden off Melissa and her family.
“She’s overwhelmed I can guarantee you, it’s a humbling experience being on the receiving end and knowing there are other people that can care,” added Randy.
Around 400 people took part in the swab drive to find matches on the bone marrow registry. If you missed the event today but would still like to donate, you can find a link to their information at hwbenefit.com