Kenny and Amber Timothy (center) stand behind their new Ford Focus at Saturday's fund raiser for their son, Reiss. They are flanked by Joni Hackwell, Danny Mower and Gust Kalatzes. Mower and Kalatzes are with Price Auto Group, which donated the car.
Last weekend's "Anything for a Friend, Reiss Timothy" fundraiser brought together more than 500 Castle Country residents and an army of organizers united behind one Price family's battle against cancer.
The event, held at Carbon High School, raised between $44,000 and $45,000 and was capped off by the surprise donation of a Ford Focus by the Price Auto Group. The car and every bit of the revenue will go to the Timothy family and their son Riess, 3, as they continue to battle Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).
The massive event started small, as a conversation between locals Joni Hackwell, Heather Hackwell and Brittney Butler, as they discussed Riess's condition and impact it has had on his family and the larger community.
"We knew we wanted to do some type of fundraiser and we started talking with Joe Cottam who owns Bella's [a Mexican grill in Utah County]. He got us in touch with Anything for a Friend and their website," said Hackwell. "The event took off from there."
According to Hackwell, the site was a treasure trove of information and helped to expand the scope of Reiss's fundraiser.
"We put together a committee of over 50 people who donated their services and products, everyone involved was amazingly generous," said Hackwell, he emotions boiling to the surface. "The whole event gave off the most wonderful feeling. This event was personal and you touch people's emotions and see how they want to help."
Anything for a Friend was started by three friends, their dedication to one another and the "healing power of small acts of kindness directed toward a common goal." The organization works nationally to provide support services and create avenues for people like Hackwell and families like the Timothys
Reiss is the youngest son of Amber and Kenny Timothy of Price, who began their battle with cancer when Reiss's persistent illness was diagnosed as leukemia. According to online information, the Carbon County three-year-old is being treated as a high risk ALL patient. While the doctors at Primary Children's Hospital have given him a good prognosis, the potential damage of this cancer is immense.
His treatment, which will continue for at least three years, will include multiple lumbar punctures (chemo inserted into the spinal fluid), bone marrow biopsies, blood transfusions, and many trips to Primary Children's for weekly procedures.
"It's been hard for his parents," said Hackwell. "They are very grateful to the community but it's hard to accept help. I know they have been blown away by the response and are hoping to be able to pay this forward."
A full list of those who donated to the event can be found online at anythingforafriend.com where those interested can also follow Reiss's progress via a blog attached to the site. Those wishing to make donations can also do so online.