It was a beautiful day on April 28 and Garwin residents and those from surrounding communities came in full force to the Garwin Revitalization Benefit for the Eli and Ashley Mathern Family. Ashley had a brain tumor removed in January and has been enduring daily radiation treatments in Iowa City. The couple has five children ages six and under.
The Committee started serving the bountiful breakfast before 8 AM. At one time the shelter house was filled to capacity, the park benches and tables were full of those enjoying breakfast and the line went clear back to the street.
The success of the Benefit would have pleased organizer, Merle Parks, beyond words. Sadly, Merle passed away on April 24 and was laid to rest on the day before the Benefit. It was with heavy hearts that many of his family and friends came to work the breakfast. But, he would have been the first to say that that is the way Garwin and small communities operate. He'd say we take care of one another.
The Garwin Revitalization Committee presented a check from the April 28 Mathern Benefit Breakfast to The Eli and Ashley Mathern Family. In addition to the Benefit proceeds, the Marshall County Thrivent added a supplemental benefit for $1,000. Pictured are Committee members Judy Konicek and Ron Smith, Ashley Mathern, Treasurer Carol Parks and Committee member Anne Barloon.
Many cards and letters of support were sent for the family by those unable to attend. Ashley commented, "This is overwhelming - so very generous." And Committee member Anne Barloon stated, "But you'd (Ashley) be right there helping if it were turned around."
Committee members presented a sizable check to Ashley Mathern on April 29. Besides the funds from the Benefit, the Marshall County Thrivent Financial for Lutherans supplemented the Benefit with an additional $1,000. For more information on the Thrivant group go to www.thrivant.com.
In accepting the proceeds Ashley said, " When I got sick and all this came about, we knew God would provide, we just did not know how. This is amazing. This is very, very sweet. We live in a wonderful town."