Past Events

How Friends in Need has helped!

Richard Engh

Two years ago, Richard Engh, a 38 year old loving father of three, sustained a severe traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle accident.

Thank you all so much for all of your help with the fundraiser.  Although attendance was low, everyone had a great time and was very impressed with how organized it was run.  I appreciate all you have done for us and others as well.  You are a good group of people doing great things.   I am impressed with each one of you!  Thanks again, Jeri 

Jonathan Avitia

Jonathan is a 29 year old that was diagnosed with stage 3 testicular cancer with extra gonadal germ cell tumors in September 2011.

There are no words to say how truly grateful Jonathan and I are for your help with the benefit. What you guys do is such a blessing, and I know that we could not have done it without you. Thank you for your time and dedication to help us and people like us. We pray God blesses you both and Friends in Need in this new year!  We cannot wait to help volunteer in the future and be a part of your great cause. Lindsey Dotson

Lynn Zeringue

Lynn Zeringue is a 53 year old local musician. In July 2011 he was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiform (brain cancer).  On July 16, 2011 he underwent a craniotomy with resection of his brain tumor and remains on maintenance chemotherapy.  Lynn is waiting to begin Hyperbaric Oxygen treatments. These treatments will help replenish the part of his brain burned from the radiation, as well as improve his quality of life.

Dear Friends,
I want to thank you so much for your help & expertise that made our fundraiser so successful. I can’t say enough about how well it was organized. I would and I have recommended seeking help with the FIN Foundation. It was a great help to be able to use credit cards & online services for my friends & family to make donations. It made it easy especially for people out of town.
I’m so grateful for Robert & LisaJo Hienz in the way they helped my husband get the treatments he needed & pay some accumulated expenses. Robert & LisaJo helped with every step of the way from writing a donation letter, flyers, getting event tickets printed up & even putting the money up for the hall needed for the event. They were professional, personable and compassionate. My overall experience was more than what I expected. A job well done.
Thanks again,
Toni & Lynn Zeringue

Ricky Rome

7 year old Ricky Rome, was recently diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC), a rare liver disease. The only “cure” for PSC is a liver transplant. Ricky is currently on medications to slow the progression of the disease. Ricky has been in and out of the hospital since March for a colonoscopy, liver biopsy, CT scans, ultrasounds, abdominal x-rays, biopsies and multiple labs. Ricky already had pancreatitis and then he had his gallbladder removed. The next procedure Ricky will undergo is a MRCP, this will show the degree of damage that his liver is currently in.

Lisa Jo, I want you to know how much my family appreciates you and the Friends in Need.  We are truly blessed to have been introduced to your organization.  Many of our friends and family commented on how wonderful the volunteers were.  Again, I thank you.  Carol   

Charlene Baldassaro

Charlene Baldassaro is an operating room nurse at West Jefferson Medical Center who was diagnosed in 2009 with colon cancer. Since undergoing treatment for her condition (which includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiation), she has been unable to work. The event raised over $40,000.

WOW!!! That is so wonderful.  Thank you so much for the amazing job you did in helping us pull this event off.  You made things flow so easily and kept us focused on the task at hand.  I know that Charlene will be overwhelmed by this total.  Kelli  

I was blown away with how well the event went.  What you guys do is amazing, giving your free time to help those who truly need it. Thanks for all you (and FIN) do.  Please pass on the gratitude.  Charlene will be relieved that her family will be taken care of for a while. Gwen

Mallorymania – Fundraiser for Mallory Simmons

Mallory Simmons, a 22 year old college student from Lafayette, was 21 months old when she was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. On January 28, 2011 Mallory underwent a successful double lung transplant.  The event raised over $15,000.

I just wanted to take a minute to express my gratitude for all that you have done to help me with this event.  As you can tell Mallory is such a special person to me and I love her dearly.  She is the kind of person that makes all of us want to be better people in life.  She has been given a second chance with her new lungs and Friends in Need has done their part to make it a little less stressful for her and the Simmons family. Jim

Kensie Marie Orr

Kensie, a newborn was suffering from various problems due to an infection while still in the hospital. The event raised over $100,000.

Thank God for Friends In Need! With your experience and knowledge in fundraisers, you made our event a phenomenal success and no one expected it to go as wonderful as it did. A SPECIAL THANKS TO THE FRIENDS IN NEED TEAM WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO MAKING KENSIE’S LIFE BETTER!! PLEASE KEEP PRAYING FOR OUR LITTLE ANGEL!!

Jeff Heap

Jeff has been a quadriplegic from a freak swimming pool accident 25 years ago. The event raised over $48,000.

It is difficult to put into words what Friends in Need has meant to our family. With the help of FIN, we were able to help my brother, who has been a quadriplegic for over 20 years, obtain a state of the art, robotic wheelchair (iBot), as well as a wheelchair accessible van. I cannot express how much this has changed my brother Jeff’s life. After years of pushing a wheelchair, his shoulders have worn down. The new chair allows him to continue working and maintain an active lifestyle. Without the assistance from FIN, we could not have pulled off the hugely successful fundraiser. I know I speak for Jeff when I say that Friends in Need is a GREAT organization, run by GREAT people, and we were blessed to have them behind us!

Scott Martinez

Scott died unexpectedly and left a wife and young daughter – the event raised over $83,000.

The Friends in Need Foundation has allowed my friends and I to raise money for one of our best friend’s family after we suddenly lost him in October 2007. Scott Martinez was a great guy and we lost him due to a sudden and unexpected heart condition that was unnoticed and of course untreated during his lifetime. Friends in Need adopted our case and because of this organization, we were able to raise significant funds to deposit into a trust fund that we had established for his widow and their only daughter. Without their help, we wouldn’t have been able to raise ½ of the money that we did and we are so thankful that they have assisted our efforts. The organization is very professionally run, very organized, and the people were very friendly and accommodating to all of our needs. They assisted us with every aspect of the fundraiser which helped the entire event run smoothly and successfully. Thank you to Friends in Need Foundation for your support through that difficult time for all of us.

Tommy Peyton

Tommy was suffering from 4th stage Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – the event raised over $48,000.

Tommy Peyton, Jr, a husband and father of three teenagers, was diagnosed with stage 4 Lymphoma in January of 2010. That was the beginning of a trial that led my sister-in-law and her family through many emotions and questions. What do you do? Where do you go first? How can we possibly afford the finances to get the medical help that is needed to treat such a devastating disease? And Tommy’s major question was, “How will my three children survive while Patti and I go to Houston to get the treatment that I need, just to have a chance to make it through this awful condition?” They were already deep into debt, just going through the testing and diagnosis.
Only by the grace of God were they introduced to Friends In Need. From the first day of planning, every bit of energy was channeled into helping us make a success of our fund raiser. I was told by FIN members that our event was put together in record time. The FIN Team snapped into action with total dedication and much care and compassion. No questions that we asked were left unanswered. Several evenings the team met at my home to help organize the donated gifts for the auction and raffles. All of this was after they had worked their unrelated day jobs. The encouragement and enthusiasm that was passed on to all of us made the whole experience a true act of love.
The Fund Raiser on August 14th, 2010, was an event that none of us will ever forget!  FIN Foundation went into the hall and set up a silent, as well as a live auction, in the most professional way that I have ever seen! Computers, boards and credit card machines lined the walls. Not one thing was skipped! Family and friends jumped in to help in any way that they could. Brian took over as our Live Auctioneer, which topped off the success of the night. I heard many people remark that they could just feel the love in the room!   Lisa Jo, Robert, Brian and all the dedicated members worked so diligently to make everything perfect for Tommy and his family that night. Their efforts have rippled down a year of help since that night and all of this was done from the kindness of their hearts!    Tommy and Patti could finally concentrate on his treatment and not worry about family finances after the great success of the fund raiser. Lisa Jo took over paying their family’s bills from the proceeds, so that Patti could take care of Tommy and not worry about that burden. The fund raiser had enabled them to keep up payments on their home and all of the essentials for their children, while they were in Houston and the money is still helping now.
It has been a year since the event, and sadly Tommy lost his fight to Cancer but the love and care that FIN gave to him and his family made their final months together so much easier. They could enjoy the good times without worrying about the finances. He talked about the love that was felt in that hall until his last days.  Thank you to the Angels of FIN. We will never forget your kindness.

Mikey’s Day

Mikey’s Mom, Dad and sister died in a house fire –  the event raised over $31,000.

Jennifer Crawford

Jennifer was suffering from a rare blood disease – the event raised over $27,000.

Without FIN, my family and friends, I would still be struggling to get through all of my medical bills. They are a WONDERFUL organization that really know how to help people and how to make their lives easier. I will always be grateful to FIN for everything they did to help me through my rough times. THANK YOU!!

Dan Dickerson

Dan was in a skiing accident with his two children and is now a tetraplegic – the event raised over $100,000.

Paul Ricalde

Paul, a fireman, is suffering from throat cancer – the event raised over $20,000.

Aidan Gannon

Aidan was one year old and is suffering from brain damage due to exposure to heat –  the event raised over $125,000.

When our son Aidan suffered a brain injury we were devastated. We are so thankful that our friends were there to support us and that Friends in Need was there to help with his amazing fundraiser. When my husband walked into the room the night of the fundraiser he was moved to tears. Without Friends in Need we know the fundraiser would not have been such a success and we would not have been able to try the various therapies and treatments we wanted to pursue with Aidan. We continue to search for therapies that will help Aidan and we know we can turn to Friends in Need again to help us when we need them.

Billy Davis

Billy was diagnosed with Downs Syndrome at birth –  the event raised over $31,000.

Gabrielle Chiasson

At the age of eight Gabby was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma –  the event raised over $40,000.

Johnny Gray

Johnny has been confined to a wheelchair after a freak roofing accident – the event raised over $25,000.