GERRY - More than 500 community members came out in support of lifelong Ellington resident Debbie Rexford on Sunday at the Gerry Rodeo Banquet Hall. Rexford was stricken with breast cancer more than two years ago, and conquered the disease then, but was diagnosed with a reoccurrence of the disease this past November, when a tumor in her femur caused her leg to break.
And, as so often happens when a friend or loved one is stricken, her friends and family rallied to her side, as did many residents of Ellington, Cherry Creek, South Dayton, Falconer, Frewsburg and Jamestown communities.
Many local businesses donated baskets of items and gift certificates for the Chinese auction, which was very well supported, and netted more than $2,400.
Hundred of people from local communities gathered Sunday at the Gerry Rodeo Banquet Hall, in support of Debbie Redford, a lifelong Ellington resident who has experienced a recurrence of breast cancer that she successfully defeated in 2012. Shown from left to right are Steve Rexford, Debbie Rexford, daughter Jennifer Gagnon, Kim Swanstrom and Judy Rhinehart, co-organizers of the event.
P-J photo by Sue Ann Fish
"We had over 100 baskets and items up for auction. People were very generous, and we're very grateful," said Kim Swantrom, co-organizer of the event.
The Cherry Creek-Leon United Methodist Church, where Rexford is an active member, along with many friends and family members baked items for the bake sale, which was also very well supported, and netted more than $300 to the total raised during the day.
While music from Stray Cat Karaoke played, nearly 400 people enjoyed a delicious spaghetti dinner, with salad, drink and dessert, provided by Judy Rhinehart and her team in the kitchen.
"We fed a lot of people, and I had great help in the kitchen. I just want to thank everyone who worked and who let us cook their Sunday dinner," she said.
"In June of 2012 my life changed forever, " Rexford said to those who gathered during the afternoon. "But with God in my life, and the love and support of my family and friends, we beat the cancer before, and we'll beat it again. We are so fortunate to live in a community of such loving and caring people. Thank you for the prayers, the hugs, the phone calls, the well wishes, the dinners people have brought to our home, and the countless other ways you have all shown your support. My family and I thank you."