Two-year-old leukemia patient Chase Galbraith of Hope saw the overwhelming support of community residents Saturday when he took a brief tractor ride through the town.
Chase and his brother, 4-year-old Tristian, were greeted with smiles and cheers as residents gathered for a fundraiser to help parents Cortney and Andrew Galbraith pay for expenses not covered by medical insurance.
Chase, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia on Christmas Eve, began his second round of chemotherapy Monday at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis.
One of the organizers, Christy Holzer of Hope, said about 300 people attended the Chillin’ for Chase Walk, which was moved from the town square to Hauser High School because of the snow and ice on the ground.
Even more attended a chicken-and-noodle dinner at Hope Moravian Church, where a donation was accepted.
Holzer said a fundraising total for the event has not been tallied, as more donations still are coming in.
“I know they did very well,” Holzer said. “People were going back and forth between the school and the dinner.”
A silent auction of donated items helped add to the total, and other donations of merchandise and handcrafted goods were sold to the highest bidders at a live auction at Strawberry Fields Mercantile on the town square, owned by Cortney Galbraith’s mother, Tracy Fugate.
Even Tristian’s preschool class participated by making beaded bracelets to sell.
Holzer said the two brothers’ eyes were huge as they sat on the tractor. After they headed back home with their grandparents, the boys’ parents were able to personally thank those who attended the fundraiser.