MT. VERNON — A benefit for a Mt. Vernon woman in need of a liver transplant will be held Saturday, Feb. 22 at Logan Street Baptist Church.
The spaghetti dinner benefit will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. In addition to the dinner, which will include spaghetti, salad, garlic bread and dessert, a silent auction, dessert auction and basket raffle will be held. Carryouts will also be available.
The benefit is being held on behalf of Maggie Wheeler, wife of Greg Wheeler, and the daughter-in-law of Jeff and Tammy Wheeler. She is the daughter of Gary and Karalee Houle.
Wheeler was diagnosed in 2009 with autoimmune cirrhosis of the liver. She has been hospitalized numerous times in St. Louis, and during the last six months, those visits have escalated, according to Angela Schrum, benefit organizer and friend of the family.
“She also has several other medical issues, including an enlarged spleen, hernia, autoimmune hepatitis, medicine induced diabetes and low platelet to name a few,” Schrum said. “These can not be taken care of until she receives a new liver.”
Wheeler is on a waiting list for a liver. In fact, two livers became available during the Christmas break but they were given to other individuals.
“We’re still praying for the right liver,” said Schrum, a friend of Wheeler’s sister, Daphne Jordan and Wheeler’s daughter, Samantha, who attends Webber Township High School where she is active in cheerleading and volleyball. Samantha also volunteers in the summer at Crossroads Community Hospital in their teen volunteer program. Schrum is the coordinator of Senior Circle at Crossroads Community Hospital.
“Preparation for the benefit is going great,” Schrum said. “We’re going to have excellent auctions, entertainment and food.”
Park Avenue Baptist Church has taken on the task of the meal, but is still seeking donations for ingredients, including sauce, meat, salad garnishments, garlic bread, tea and lemonade.
“So many businesses and organizations are donating to make the other parts of the benefit great, and some are donating cash, which is what the benefit is for,” Schrum said. “It’s amazing the community support we have already received.”
Tickets for the benefit are $8 for adults, $5 for children ages 4-12, and free for children under 3.
Entertainment will begin around 6 p.m. including For His Glory, Steve and Tammy Foster, Bob, Jeff and Chuck, Harold Buford, and the second generation of Wheeler/Donoho kids, which range in ages 2 to 15.
“It’s a big group effort. So many people have come together to show their support. We want to show support and raise awareness about organ donation,” Schrum said. A representative from the Secretary of State’s office will be at the benefit to explain and register people for organ donations.
A Facebook page has been organized for the event. For more information about the benefit or to donate you may contact Schrum at (618) 231-4504 or join the group “Benefit for Maggie Wheeler” on Facebook. Donations for the benefit may be dropped off at Once Upon a Lifetime in Mt. Vernon and monetary donations may be made at any Peoples National Bank locations.