By Terry Rogers
On Saturday, March 21, 2015 the Milford Elks Lodge will hold a fundraising event, Jammin’ for Jarod. Organizers of the event hope to raise between $12,000 and $15,000 for a wheelchair-accessible van for Jarod, a young man who suffers from traumatic brain injury as a result of shaken baby syndrome.
“Jarod’s mom sent a letter to the Elks Lodge asking for help in either providing a down payment or purchasing a wheelchair accessible van,” Charlene Fuller, chairperson for the event. “We decided the best way to raise money was through a fundraiser.” Ms. Fuller and Allen Rust are co-chairs of the Jernick Fund, which was established in 1982 to honor a deceased Grand Lodge Sponsor, PGER William J. Jernick. The fund assists children with special needs in communities.
Ms. Fuller said that the Elks Lodge worked with the band, Down Tyme, on another benefit dance and they contacted them about doing an event for Jarod. She said the band was donating their time and that the Elks Lodge had also donated the hall where the event will be held. Laura Rust, whose husband owns Bill Rust Plumbing and lead singer for the band, created all the print material, including posters and tickets. Ms. Rust donated the printing of the tickets and had been instrumental in selling them as well.
In addition to the dance, there will be a silent auction of items that have been donated by area businesses and individuals. Ms. Fuller said that attendees will be able to bid on tickets to the truck race at an upcoming NASCAR race, appliances, art and gift certificates. There is also a 7-day stay at a resort in Orlando that is just minutes from Disneyworld. The room has three bedrooms, three baths and a full kitchen, a prize estimated at $2,500.
Jarod is legally blind and deaf after being shaken as an infant. He suffers from seizures and has been diagnosed with quad-spastic cerebral palsy. Shaken baby syndrome, which is also known as abusive head trauma, occurs when an infant or small child is shaken violently. It destroys brain cells and prevents the child’s brain from getting enough oxygen. Ms. Fuller said that Jarod had just recently been released from the hospital after spending three weeks there for complications from his injury.
“We are asking anyone who may have a handicap-accessible van who no longer needs it if they would be willing to donate it to Jarod,” Ms. Fuller said. “We are also accepting silent auction items up until the event if anyone wants to donate them.” Ms. Fuller explained that if they did not get a van donated or if they did not raise enough to purchase the van, all proceeds from the dance would go to a down payment on a van for the family.
There will be food available for purchase and a cash bar at the Jammin’ for Jarod event. Doors open at 7 PM and the dance will run from 8 to 11 PM. Tickets are $15 per person and $25 per couple prior to the event. At the door, tickets will be $20 per person and $35 per couple, but Ms. Fuller says that they are going fast so tickets may not be available at the door. Anyone who wishes to donate items or purchase tickets may contact Ms. Fuller at 422-4841, the Elks Lodge at 424-2401 or Bill Rust Plumbing at 422-6061.