Benefit set for local man

By Dean Palmer - Special to the News

A growing group of friends, family and supporters will be hosting a Port-A-Pit chicken fundraiser for local resident Tony Hooker from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday at the First United Methodist Church Family Life Center.

Hooker was diagnosed in March of 2016 with glioblastoma, an extremely aggressive type of brain cancer. Soon afterwards, he underwent brain surgery followed by a series of medical treatments which are currently ongoing.

Hooker, 58, and his wife, Rhonda, reside in Pilot Mountain and have two daughters, Alison and Katie. All have been active in the local community, including each having been or currently serving as members of the Pilot Mountain Rescue Squad.

The fundraiser is being organized by a trio of family friends, Chrystal Pettitt, Kellie Sechrist and Jessica Goins. They have been aided by donations and support from throughout the community, including multiple area churches, organizations, family and friends.

“Our family really appreciates everybody who has already donated to this,” Katie Hooker said, “and all of those who have prayed and reached out to us. We wouldn’t have come this far without God and everyone’s prayers have meant a lot to us.”

Saturday’s meal will consist of plates available at a cost of $10 each, with drinks also available for $1. Each plate will consist of ½ a port-a-pit cooked chicken along with mashed potatoes, green beans, a roll and dessert.

A drive-through service will be offered, with orders taken at the curb and meals delivered to each car. Dine-in meals will also be available.

Proceeds from the day will go toward helping the family with medical expenses, including the planned purchase of a wheelchair van to assist with visits for treatment and travel to church.

“He’s confined to a wheelchair because of his treatments,” Katie Hooker explained. “But we want him to be able to get out more.”

“His MRIs are showing some progress,” she continued. “We’ve been blessed.”

First United Methodist Church is located at 210 West Marion Street in Pilot Mountain. For more information on the event, Kellie Sechrist can be reached at (336) 971-5380.

By Dean Palmer

Special to the News

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