Plans are set for Cheryl Polley benefit "It always amazes me how this community comes together when someone is in need," Pam Ganschow tells the members of the Cheryl Polley Benefit Committee.
Cheryl Polley, a young mother who lives in Wakonda, was diagnosed with kidney cancer, on April 29, and has since learned that is has spread to her lungs and bone.
Along with the devastating news of finding out you or your family member has cancer, comes the realization of the financial problems that also come with the disease. Cheryl and her husband Rod, along with their three children, Adam, 16, Justin, 13, and Roxanne, 12, know that their lives have changed forever due to this horrendous disease.
Cheryl has been working at Pioneer Memorial Nursing Viborg as a night CNA for the past two years, but has been unable to work since the end of April. She has already exhausted her sick leave hours and is nearly out of vacation hours. A great benefit at Pioneer Memorial is the opportunity for other staff members to donate vacation hours to employees in need. There has been a lot of interest in helping Cheryl from her coworkers, so this will undoubtedly help for the near future.
Rod works for the Clay County Highway Department, and he is also finding it difficult to maintain his work schedule, due to Cheryl's hospital stays and numerous doctor visits, including a trip to Chicago. Rod has stated that his vacation time is also running out, but his coworkers do not have the option of donating vacation hours.
Although Rod and Cheryl did not feel that the community should have a benefit for them, with some persuasion from their family members, they finally allowed the community to proceed. With the first meeting held on May 23 and the benefit scheduled for June 11, this only gave the committee three short weeks to organize the benefit, publicize it and get donations for supplies for the supper and items for the auction, along with securing auctioneers, a band and a place to hold the event.
By the time the first committee meeting was held at the caf� in Wakonda, Pam Ganschow, who is spearheading the event, already had the Legion Hall secured for the event, Marv and Ken Girard, along with Brad Olson and Harlan Knutson ready to auctioneer and Midnight Special ready and willing to play for the dance. With approximately 25 people attending the initial planning meeting, jobs were divided and towns were split up to ask for donations.
The committee has been meeting two times a week for the past two weeks. As of Monday, June 6, there were 130+ auction items donated from surrounding communities, and as far away as Des Moines, IA. Some of the towns represented are Wakonda, Irene, Centerville, Volin, Gayville, Meckling, Viborg, Hurley, Beresford, Yankton, Vermillion, Sioux Falls, along with the surrounding rural areas. There are also many businesses and individuals who have made cash donations or donated supplies needed for the supper, such as plates, cups, condiments, buns and salad ingredients.
Cheryl and her family are members of the Wakonda United Methodist Church, whose members have volunteered to furnish bars for the benefit supper and also to serve the meal. Rod and their son Adam are both members of the Wakonda Fire Department, whose members will also be assisting with the benefit supper and dance, along with other members of the community.
The supper features pork lion sandwiches, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, chips, juice, coffee and homemade bars. Supper will be served from 4 p.m. until the food runs out, so come out enjoy a tasty meal and help out your neighbors at the same time.
The auction will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will continue until all of the items have been sold. There is truly something for everyone, with items ranging from Beanie Babies to airline tickets, and from toy tractors to farm chemical application. Other items of interest include: several Terry Redlin prints, Polaris helmets, a Henry bolt-action .22 rifle, hand made pottery, antiques, gift certificates, oil changes, a variety of theme baskets, quilts, quilt rack and many more items too numerous to mention.
All items and other donations and who donated them, are listed on a poster board which is displayed at the Wakonda Caf�. These boards will be on display at the Legion Hall on the night of the auction, so come out for an exciting night, with the dance to follow the auction. the dance will feature Midnight Special, so have your dancing shoes on and plan to enjoy yourself.
If you want to see what small communities can do when they come together to help a neighbor, plan on spending your evening in Wakonda on Saturday, June 11 at the Legion Hall. The event will start at 4 p.m. and will continue with the auction beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the dance to follow. It really is great to live in a small community where everyone helps those in need.