Gary Camburn benefit 10.22.08

Written by David Green.

When a person has drawn blood from most everyone in town, he’s bound to have a lot of friends and acquaintances.

Add to that a few years of time serving on the Morenci Board of Education, some summers devoted to coaching Little League and women’s softball, and membership in the Morenci Sportsman’s Club. He even has his name on the Morenci Area High School track and field records board, dating back to 1968.garycamburn.jpg

With all of that history, it’s no doubt that Gary Camburn and his wife, Suzanne, are feeling overwhelmed by the flood of support shown for Gary after the announcement of a benefit dinner and auction in his honor.

“It’s very humbling,” Suzanne said. “I’ve never seen such an outpouring of support and offers of assistance. It’s just amazing.”

Gary worked as a laboratory technician  in Morenci for 38 years before transferring to Herrick Medical Center. Metastatic colon cancer has forced Gary out of the working world since April. He and Suzanne have been without any income since June as they continue to seek benefits from a long-term disability policy—so far without any success.

Gary was first diagnosed with colon cancer in 2003 and underwent chemotherapy. His condition appeared to be going well until he went to the doctor with what he thought was bronchitis. That visit led to his diagnosis earlier this year.

Suzanne said they’ve bought raffle tickets and helped with benefit efforts many times over the years, never thinking that some day they might become the beneficiaries. They’re most appreciative of the help, but it’s not a comfortable turn of events.

“We had no idea it was going to turn into something of this magnitude,” she said. “It’s one of the nice things about living in a small community.”

The benefit dinner and auction is planned for Gary from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Morenci Sportsman’s Club. A taco dinner will be served and guests will be invited to bid for dozens of items in a silent auction. Auction donations have poured in so heavily that some things will be given away as door prizes.

Auction items include certificates for services such as hair care and car care, hand-made craft items, a portable DVD player, binoculars, Red Wing tickets, shotguns and newspaper advertising. There’s also a football signed by Morenci’s 1995 team that played in the Silverdome.

Activities for children include pony rides and pumpkin decorating.

Members of Morenci’s Class of ’68 are encouraged to attend, hopefully to visit with their classmate.

“Our intention is to at least make an appearance at the benefit,” Suzanne said, but that will depend on how Gary is feeling as he continues with chemotherapy.

(The photo shows Gary Camburn from the early 1990s era) 

 

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016