May 17, 2010

A party weekend - with a fundraiser for a teen cancer victim

WATKINS GLEN, New York, USA - After a long week of working outside - and getting the property ready for summer (should it arrive...), Admiral Fox and I went to social events Saturday and Sunday.

The Saturday night soiree was a social get together at a local winery where we swapped tales about winter and the upcoming summer. The group/event is held twice a year, an outgrowth of the former Seneca Lake Sailing Association (which is no longer active).

The Sunday afternoon event was to raise money to help a local teenager who has cancer.

Fifteen-year-old Devon Shaw, is a freshman at Watkins Glen High School. He had cancer discovered in his leg months ago. And doctors now say he has cancer in one lung and  faces surgery in June. He is already having several rounds of chemotherapy.

Devin Shaw
Devon Shaw

But this young soccer player is a real gamer, by all accounts.

While several bands played Sunday at an outdoor benefit to help cover his incredible medical costs (and show support for him), Devon hopped on a tour boat with several hundred of his high school classmates for a Seneca Lake tour and teen party in his honor.

Teen benefit cruise
Teens head up Seneca Lake

The community effort has been incredible, a not-uncommon occurrence in this part of rural upstate New York. The event had a chicken dinner, t-shirt sales, raffles and something called a 50-50 drawing. The bar inside did a brisk business, too, selling beer in red plastic cups. The cold beer didn't help with the cold temperatures, but it still tasted good, and for a good cause.

In many ways, the event reminded me of the way people in Arroyo Seco rally around when someone is sick or in need. Whenever someone in that village has trouble, people also come through with food or help of some kind.

The local newspapers here have been full of news about Devon, his plight, and efforts to raise money - and spirits.

Here's a short video of some of the music and dancing...

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