A “David’s Dream” epilepsy fundraiser held on Tuesday, Feb. 2 during the Peebles/Eastern Brown basketball game raised several thousand dollars. The benefit was in honor of David Sowards, the son of Mike and Maria Staggs Sowards, of Peebles. David, now 15, was diagnosed with epilepsy as a toddler, and suffers from debilitating seizures that are symptomatic of the disease. Those attending had the opportunity to bid on silent auction items, buy tickets for a Split the Pot Drawing, purchase a David’s Dream T-shirt or bracelet, or bid in the live auction of two basketballs signed by each team. All proceeds went to the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Cincinnati and Columbus.
“Just four days after the community raised an amazing amount of money at the Keller Strong night, the Peebles Athletic Boosters asked our community once again to support an extremely important cause,” said Amy Huffman Swango, Vice President of the Peebles Athletic Boosters. “The Peebles Indians fans along with Eastern Brown showed wonderful support and allowed us to raise $4,000 for the Epilepsy Foundation. Our community is blessed with loving and generous people, and we want to thank everyone who helped make this another great night at PHS.”
In an emotionally charged speech, David’s mother, Maria, addressed the crowd explained, “Epilepsy is the third most common neurological disorder, only behind Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. There are more than twice as many people with epilepsy in the U.S. as the number of people with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and cystic fibrosis combined. Research shows that 1 out of 26 Americans will develop epilepsy and 1 out of every 10 will have at least one seizure in their lifetime.”
The following businesses and community members for donated items for the auction: Dr. David and Jodi Parrett, Darlene Wilson, Jessica McDonald, Adams County Regional Medical Center, Sherry Turner Bennington, Roush Insurance Agency- Tammy Hoop Crothers, the Epilepsy Foundation, Kathy Rhoads, the Peebles Fire Dept, Swango Logging, Kate Wright Ryan- Studio 50, J. McCoy Lumber Company, Monica Gannon Huffman, Pam Tong- Nature’s Harvest, and Joyce Compton Ryan.
The auction bidders and buyers were Jack McCoy Lumber Company, Dr. David and Jodi Parrett, Jodi Seaman, David Mills, Edward Jones Investments, Jeff and Lisa Naylor- Youth Sports, Joshua Ryan- Ryan Farms, Sara Mcfarland- McFarland Blacktop Sealing, Stephen “Moose” Brown and Brenda Brown, Jerry and Stacey Camp, Stephanie McCoy- Shear Magic Beauty Salon, Carla Wesley- Meigs Twshp Fiscal Officer, Wayne and Jo Hanson, Jim Fraley, David Arey, Mary Bennington and Dean Brown, Auctioneer. The silent auction raised $400.
Eastern Brown fan Matt Layton won the Split the Pot drawing and donated his winnings back to the cause.
The “David’s Dream” T-shirts were provided by Jodie Hixon-Gabel of Brushcreek Valley Screenprinting and Embroidery, and Larry and Patty Shiveley of the Peebles Flower Shop provided helium for the balloons that decorated the gym.
Dean Brown served as auctioneer.
“I would like to thank everyone who participated in Epilepsy Awareness Night,” said David’s mother, Maria. “Epilepsy is a very serious condition and people do die from seizures. Epilepsy is extremely underfunded. There are still many unanswered questions about epilepsy, and thousands of people and their loved ones suffer from the disorder and/or the side effects of treatments. We need to get the awareness out there. Let’s seize hope and not let another moment get lost to seizures.”