A local citizen committee has been formed and has established several fund raising events in an effort to support the Ron Thompson family with its high medical expenses in connection with Ron Thompson's battle with cancer.
In January, Thompson, 45, of Enterprise was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer. In the best-case scenario, Thompson has been told he will be a chemotherapy patient for the rest of his life.
The first fundraising event held by the committee was a Texas Hold 'Em poker tournament hosted by the Range Rider Tavern and friend Chris Hanson on Feb. 12, which attracted 29 poker players and raised approximately $1,690 for the family. Grand prize was a trip to Nevada donated by Range Rider; winner was Nate James of Enterprise.
"I was expecting maybe 15 players, so it raised about double what I'd hoped for," Hanson said. Thompson, a Wallowa County resident for over 40 years, and his wife, Marty Ricker, were married in 1982; they have two children, Shayla Thompson-Stein and Jake Thompson. Thompson has been an active member in the community, involved with Little League and various school activities during his children's growing up years, and is presently a member of the Enterprise Elks Club and The Crossing church.
Thompson was employed for 16 years with Rahn Sanitary Service as a trash collector and recently started to work for Henderson Fuel Company in Wallowa. Unfortunately, because of his change in employment, he did not have insurance coverage when he was diagnosed.
Another fundraising event was held this week, a pie auction/taco feed hosted by the Lostine Tavern from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday. For every taco sold, $.50 was earmarked for the Thompson family, along with all pie sales.
Scheduled for March 18 is a dinner, dance and auction fundraising event at the Enterprise Elks Club. A prime rib dinner will begin at 5:30 pm, followed by an auction at approximately 7 p.m. and dance at 9 pm. The band Sirius will be performing rock and roll through the midnight hour. Dinner tickets are $20 per person. with a limit of 250 seats available. The dance-only charge will be $5 at the door.
Accounts for the Thompson family have been opened at First Bank in Enterprise and all Community Bank locations.
The committee is selling dinner tickets and is seeking items for the auction to be held in March. For more information or to donate items contact Les Bridges at 426-3564, Mandy Decker at 426-4140 or Debbie Bales at 426-3175.