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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Community comes together: Fundraisers assist families in difficult circumstances

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  • Recent fundraisers in Leavenworth for local families dealing with trying circumstances involving children have been successful in providing at least some money to help cover expenses.
    High Noon Saloon was a delivery point earlier this summer for people who wanted to donate to the family of Cadence Harris, a 5-year-old girl who was killed in mid-July.
    Owner Anna Johnson said she didn't have an exact total of money raised for Cadence's family in the wake of the tragedy, though she was impressed with the community's outpouring of support.
    "The community responded, we thought, very well," said Johnson, who owns the restaurant/bar with her husband, R.D. "We had a jar with a sign in a central location at the bar, and sometimes people would come in just to put money in that jar.
    "One day, we got a check in the mail, made out of course to the fund, for $250. That was huge."
    Johnson said it wasn't unusual to see people who weren't regular High Noon customers come in specifically to contribute money to help the girl's family.
    "People we don't normally see came by to donate, they would make a special trip," Johnson said. "That really made an impression on everybody. It was very heartwarming to see that."
    A Facebook page, Angels for Cadence, was established following the girl's death. The most recent post on the page was Aug. 8.
    "Mommy misses you, baby," the post reads. "More than words can say."
    Johnson said she and High Noon staffers know Cadence's mother, and that she is "obviously still healing."
    A more recent local fundraiser took place Friday night at the Heritage Center.
    "Angel in Distress" was a gospel benefit concert for Carson Asher, a baby who is being treated for hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a congenital heart defect. Proceeds from the event, which included performances by local musical acts, went to Carson's parents, Kevin and Megan Asher, for medical costs not covered by health insurance.
    Organizer Herschel Lincoln, who also performed with his gospel group, The Rock, said going into Friday's event he would have been happy to raise $2,000. The benefit surpassed his expectation.
    "We did fantastic," he said. "We raised about $7,600.
    "We were greatly surprised (by the fundraising total). It was a success all the way around."
    About 250 people attended the benefit or dropped off donations.
    Another benefit for baby Carson is being organized for the end of September or early October, Lincoln said.
    Johnson said the degree of support for Cadence Harris's family and for Carson Asher and family isn't surprising to her, knowing what she does about the concern and generosity of local community members.
    "There is always a fundraiser in the works here," she said. "… We know that this is a community that really comes together for its own."

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