By Richard Rourk
The first-ever Unicoi County Cerebral Palsy Fundraiser proved a success despite a flurry of weekend storms.
The event was held Saturday, March 27, from 2 to 4 p.m. outside of CVS in Erwin.
“We had a great turnout,” organizer LeAnna Cutler told The Erwin Record. “We were worried no one would come because of the storms.”
Cutler wanted to bring awareness to an illness that is often overlooked.
“March is Cerebral Palsy month and the color for cerebral palsy is green, so that is why we are decorating in green and offering snacks like Dr. Enuf, which comes in a green bottle.”
According to Cutler, she had to become expert on cerebral palsy in a short period.
“My son, Preston, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy in November of 2020,” Cutler said. “Cerebral palsy affects a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. The more I have found out about the disease, the more I knew I needed to help others.”
Cutler moved quickly to set up what she plans to be an annual Cerebral Palsy Fundraiser. She created a raffle to raise funds and awareness for the disease.
“We raised $1,321 and we are still taking donations,” Cutler said. “Our raffle winners were Diana Lung, who won a big Tennessee sign that was made and donated by Unicoi County High School welding.”
In addition, Cutler said that Christy Lafollette won a Pampering Basket and Tiffany Bollinger won a Succulent Basket.
Limestone Cove Christian Church won a UCHS greenhouse basket. Debbie Mitchell won a smaller Tennessee sign. Ashley Skelton won a dog house made by UCHS Carpentry students. Angie Hughes won a cross donated by Matthew Laws.
According to Cutler the response from the community has been overwhelming.
“I have to say a huge thanks to all the donations and support,” Cutler said. “It wouldn’t be possible without all the hard work and donations. Thanks to all the small businesses who let me put jars and bows up. We made over $200 just in jar donations. That’s not including the $100 that Maple Grove put in to match what was raised in the jar there.”
Cutler said she expects to grow the fundraiser each year.
“My hopes for next year is to get an earlier start and to have a huge shindig with music, food, games and all of the fun stuff,” she said.
Proceeds will go to the Cerebral Palsy Foundation. For more information, visit www.yourcpf.org.