BY LINDSAY MCCOY

Times Bulletin News Writer

lmccoy@timesbulletin.com

VAN WERT - Local businesses, vendors, and community members have pulled together for a good cause and have helped make the Tom Theobald Benefit a reality. Tom Theobald is a 28-year-old Van Wert County resident who was recently diagnosed with stage three nodular Hodgkins lymphoma. The all day event is set to be held Saturday, Feb. 9, from 9 a.m. to midnight in the Jr. Fair Building at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds.

Theobald drives truck for a living and is the sole worker of the family. His wife, Megan, is a stay at home mom with their three-year-old son, Ruger, and is expecting the couple's second child.

As a truck driver, Theobald has no sick days and receives no pay for the work he is now being forced to miss. Immediately after being diagnosed, Theobald began receiving chemotherapy and will continue treatments for at least another six months. Chemo along with bone marrow biopsies and many other necessary treatments and tests have left the family with immense medical bills that have become overbearing with Theobald's work weeks cut short.

Aware of this additional stress, Christina Young, Theobald's Venedocia neighbor, came to the young family's aid by instigating and planning the Tom Theobald Benefit. The community has already shown an outpouring of assistance by donating a large variety of items for the event.

"No donation is too small," said Young. "I don't want to see the Theobald's lose their home. I encourage everyone to come help this local family. They give so much, and I hope to see the community come together to give back. All donations are appreciated." The benefit will include crafts, door prizes every hour, beer, auctions, bingo, kids games, food, and face painting.

The schedule of events begins at 9 a.m. with the craft and vendor show, bake sale, and kids games. The craft and vendor show is expected to see a large turnout and will include Simply Said, Avon, Scentsy, Once I was, Gold Canyon, It Works!, tupperware, multiple crafters, Gourmet Cupboards, bows, Mary Kay, Perfectly Posh, Longaberger, Tastefully Simple, canned meats, decorative bottles, woodwork, Pampered Chef, homemade goods, books, Celebrating Home, and many more.

A kid's magic show will following beginning at 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. Food sales will also begin at 10 a.m. and will go until midnight. From 11:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m., the well-loved game, bingo, will be underway. The craft and vendor show, bake sale, and kids games will conclude at 2 p.m. With kids events ending at 2 p.m., beer sales will begin at 3 p.m. and will be available until midnight.

The auction will also begin at 3 p.m. and will last until 7 p.m. Donated bingo and auction prizes include vintage beer signs, a canoe, working train set, piano, hand crafted mini wooden barns, 2001 4-wheeler, corn hole games, OSU yard signs, Vera Bradley Items, tools, and gift certificates from Westwood Car Wash, Pizza Hut, Bob Evans, Comfort Inn, Westwood, Bluewater Campground, Delphos Rec Center, Landeck Tavern, and Amazon. A DJ will be providing entertainment from 7 p.m. to midnight.

The entire community is invited to this event, and anyone with additional questions about the event, want to make a donation, or inquire as to how they can help this family, can call (419) 203-3917.