The summer of 2016 - specifically the month of August - is a time that Chris and Debbie Hines might choose to forget. Picture this - the family is enjoying their summertime activities - yet knowing something is just not right.

By Trish Morgan
For the News Tribune
The summer of 2016 - specifically the month of August - is a time that Chris and Debbie Hines might choose to forget. Picture this - the family is enjoying their summertime activities - yet knowing something is just not right.
August brought terrible news: their 16-year-old son Nate was diagnosed with a very rare cancer for a teen called chronic myeloid leukemia. There are not many of us who can understand how that feels to find out that someone you love dearly has to travel this journey at such a young age.
Nate is just your normal teenager (if one can call teenagers normal lol) - he loves spending time with his friends, going to the movies, listening to music and dancing. He lives at home with his parents and two sisters, and they all are active in the Grace Place Assembly of God Church in Fort Ashby.
Nate is currently a senior at Keyser High School, and he has been accepted at Potomac State College, where he will attend this fall - majoring in business administration.
I have never met Nate or his family, but I know someone who cares for all of them very much. Jemma Dawson, an old high school friend of mine, is a neighbor and friend of the Hines family. Jemma, along with her husband Scotty, have pulled together a committee of people to organize a fundraiser to help this family.
These folks assisting with the fundraiser include Tricia and Tessa Whetzel, Jimmy Dawson, Beth and Dan Keefe, and Ashley Centofonti.
This Saturday, March 11, is the big day! The event kicks off at noon on Saturday at Victory Post #155 American Legion in Westernport. Jemma and her crew of volunteers will be serving up Jemma's famous rigatoni! Dinners are $7 each and include rigatoni, a nice salad and "Morgantown-Fresh-Baked" Italian bread. All of the food items have been donated by Dan Keefe, owner of Pizza Al's II on Earl Core Road, Morgantown. And, according to the numerous reviews on Facebook, Pizza Al's II is a fantastic place to eat! I plan to head out there in a couple of weeks to try their pizza, which according to their loyal customers, is well worth the trip!
Customers may choose to eat-in or take-out, although we hope that folks will come in for the raffles and bake sale. There is also free delivery available to businesses in the local area, with a minimum of five dinners per delivery.
In addition to dinner at the Westernport Legion all day (or until sold out), there will be basket raffles, a bake sale and a 50/50 raffle. You can come enjoy your lunch or dinner, buy some homemade goodies for dessert, and take some chances to win baskets of great things!
Jemma and her committee have worked so hard to gather donations from local area businesses and restaurants, and they have put together over 18 baskets to raffle! WOW! That is just an incredible effort of love, folks. And, businesses here in Keyser, the Tri-Towns and Mineral County areas have been so generous and kind in supporting this fundraiser for the Hines family. Thank you to all!
The baskets have themes, and one can take chances on their favorites, or on all of them! That's what I intend to do! Some of the themes include restaurant gift cards/certificates, tools, kids' toys/activities, Easter, Bath & Body, crafts, auto detailing and so many more.
"You don't have to be present to win. The drawings will take place during the dance that evening, and winners who are unable to come to the dance will be contacted to make arrangements to get their winnings," says Jemma.
The doors will open that evening at the Legion before 8 p.m., when Tim Kady will be on hand to DJ the dance until midnight. Admission for the dance is $5 per person, and tickets for the baskets and 50/50 raffle will continue to be sold up until the drawings for winners about halfway through the dance.
The proceeds from this 12-hour-marathon-of-an-event will be given to the Hines family to use toward Nate's medical treatments and expenses. The family does have health insurance, but the out-of-pocket expenses after insurance pays its share are enormous. For example, Nate takes oral medication for his leukemia every day, and this medication, as well as diagnostic testings, results in $1,000 or more that the family has to pay out every month.
Last week in my column, I had written about 40 Days of Random Acts of Kindness, and according to the numerous messages I have received in response to that column, I know this "movement" is in force. For those of you who are looking for ideas on what to do for your 40 days, here is one:
Come eat some of Jemma's famous rigatoni and some delicious Italian bread and butter...donate or buy some baked goods...take some chances on a basket or two or 18…take a chance to win some cash...bring some friends and come dance the night away.
In turn, you help this family in their journey, and you help make it a little easier to bear. Be kind to your neighbors, even if you don't know them. It matters. It all matters.
If you can't make it on Saturday, call Jemma. She can tell you how to make a donation to the family. If you want to have your meals delivered to your business, call Jemma. If you want to be part of something part of something big, something humbling... here's your chance.
Jemma can be reached at 304-790-2214. If you get her voice mail, leave a message. I think she may be a little busy between now and Saturday, but she will call you back!
Saturday, March 11, 2017 is when our community comes together to eat, pray, love, smile, laugh and share the little bit we have so that those little bits can add up to something big. A chance to share with the Family of special and simple that is. I, for one, plan to be there in mind, body and spirit. How about you?
See y'all in Westernport at the Legion, Saturday. Noon to midnight, and anytime between.