MORDEN – Music and square dancing are both big parts of Donna Haley’s life, and music will be a big part of the benefit to be hosted to help with medical costs.
Haley was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June. Her daughter-in-law, Jenn Johnson, has joined forces with musician David Arnburg to organize a benefit in support of Haley, and to raise funds.
Johnson said the support for Haley, who normally helps others before herself, has been overwhelming.
“Morden is a really good, tight knit community – everybody likes to help support everybody. And that just means everything to us right now,” she said.
Haley has found out since her diagnosis that her cancer has spread to other organs in her body. Her family and friends have stepped up to help with taking her to appointments and helping out at her home, but Johnson was inspired to organize an event to see what more she could do to help.
“When I talked to her about it – and it only went ahead because we got her consent – she sounded very eager to have it happen,” she said.
Johnson said she’s found support in unexpected places since planning for the benefit began, like a gas station in Berwick, where someone overheard her speaking of the benefit.
The man said Haley used to babysit him, took several flyers to post at his place of work.
“It’s overwhelming because Donna isn’t the kind of person to ask for help, but here are all of these people who know her, who are willing to help,” said Johnson.
Haley has loved music and square dancing her entire life and used to attend events where her father would call the dancing.
Musical entertainment at the benefit will include Arnburg along with Basil Davidson, Robbie and Faith Woodworth, Shirley Yorke, Lowa Latter and Sharon Long.
The event will also include a live auction, 50/50 and other items for purchase, with all funds going towards assisting Haley with medical costs.
Johnson is still accepting items for the benefit – new items or gift cards to auction, or baked goods and preserves to sell – and said a bank account and e-transfer system have been set up for anyone wanting to make monetary donations.
Anyone looking to donate can also contact Johnson at 902-698-1882 or firstname.lastname@example.org.