The Supporters of Solorzano have come a long way since their first meeting approximately a month ago.
“Marissa [Klais] has been phenomenal,” Supporters of Solorzano committee member Renee Thomas said. “The next day she was down in Platteville getting donations for her classmate and family.
“We have met every single Sunday and everybody has done their stuff. It is not one person doing everything.”
Klais, a senior at Fennimore High School, is a neighbor of the Solorzano family.
Jody Solorzano is a married mother of two children, Jack, a fifth grader, and Amberly, a senior. She is battling stage four brain cancer after having defeated breast cancer two years ago. As medical bills and expenses have mounted, several have gathered to form Supporters of Solorzano.
The committee has been busy planning the Supporters of Solorzano benefit, scheduled for Satruday, Sept. 15 at the Fennimore Memorial Building. The benefit includes a bean bag tournament, bowl-a-thon, silent auction and a pork loin or hot dog supper.
Registration forms for the bean bag tournament and bowl-a-thon, both open to all ages, are available at the Depot Exchange Thrift Store or Fennimore Lanes. Forms are also available at the Supporters of Solorzano Facebook page.
What has drawn the committee members, 28 in total, to help?
“This community is like that, I was in a car accident six years ago and they all came together and did the same kind of thing,” Thomas said. “That is just what Fennimore does and I think it becomes a priority when it is someone that is close to you.
“The camaraderie of everybody at the meetings, that is awesome. Sometimes we are just tearful because it touches you. It is what people do.”
Supporters of Solorzano T-shirts are available for $15 by contacting the Fennimore United Methodist Church at 822-6797. T-shirts are also available at the Depot Exchange Thrift store. All proceeds go directly to the Solorzano family, Klais said.
For those who would like to wear their T-shirt to the benefit, it must be ordered by Thursday, Sept. 6, Thomas said.
Monetary donations may be mailed to or dropped off at American Bank Fennimore. Items for the silent auction may be dropped off at the Fennimore United Methodist Church before noon Mondays through Fridays.
Thomas is looking forward to the silent auction, which will begin at 1 p.m. and close at 8 p.m.
“There is that competitive bidding war,” Thomas said. “You have to see it to appreciate what we are saying.”
Items donated for the silent auction include hotel stays, a meat bundle, Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers and Fennimore Golden Eagles items, quilts, John Deere items, a picnic table and more.
“We have some girls that are going to do babysitting, so we have service stuff too that people are going to do for the auction,” Thomas said.
“I think it is exciting when you have somebody that calls you and just says, ‘here I have this to donate,’ without you even asking them,” committee member Sherry Kieler added.
For the sports enthusiast, Milwaukee Bucks, Milwaukee Wave, Milwaukee Brewers and Wisconsin football and basketball tickets will be up for bid at the auction.
“I think a lot of people are getting excited about the meal,” Kieler said.
The meal will include marinated pork loin, potato, vegetables, bun, dessert bar and beverage. Tickets for the pork loin dinner are $9 in advance and $10 at the door.
An alternate meal includes a hot dog, chips, vegetables, dessert bar and beverage. Tickets for the hot dog dinner are $5.
Advance purchase of meal tickets is greatly encouraged, Klais said. Meal tickets are available from any committee member, including Chad and Sherry Kieler, Marissa or Kevin Klais, Audrey Doan, Randy and Rose Mouw, Jeff and Renee Thomas, Pauline and Jerry Ames, Tara Faulkner, Tony Bunn, Christine Schaefer, Steve Birkett, Carina Henkel and Pat Stoeffler.
Meal tickets are also available at the Depot Exchange Thrift Store, Fennimore United Methodist Church or St. Peter Lutheran Church.
In addition to the meals, concessions will be available at the benefit through the Fennimore High School senior class. Beverages, candy and chips will be on the menu.
Kieler, Klais and Thomas have been overwhelmed by the support shown thus far.
“We put the first collection of cans around and we got $484.14 in the first collection,” Thomas said. “That was in one week and that is phenomenal.”