BUCKHANNON — Small communities are so special, and we have lots of them in West Virginia. One of the main attributes of a loving small community is their ability to network, stand up for one another and move mountains when needed. On Sunday, December 13, the small community of Ellamore did just that! Five-year-old community member, Tiar Heckman is currently battling a rare and aggressive cancer known as adrenocortical carcinoma and her family, community, and Union Elementary School refuses to let her fight it alone!
Tiar’s Winter Wonderland ATV Ride, dinner and fundraiser was held at the Ellamore Volunteer Fire Department in eastern Upshur County on a cold, blustery day. Riders from all over met and registered early that morning for a fun off-road ride on some of West Virginia’s most beautiful backroads. Each ATV/UTV had a choice of two routes, “Over the River” or “Frosty’s Adventure.” One was slightly longer and offered a challenging muddy terrain, while the other offered a relaxing ride with family. All riders enjoyed hot and cold beverages and snacks halfway through the ride, sponsored by the wonderful folks at Sweet-a-Licious.
While folks were out enjoying the ride, Erin Perry was set up at Ellamore VFD with a winter wonderland backdrop to donate photography for families wishing to have portraits done for the holidays. Folks were also able to enjoy raffles of the auction baskets filled with donated items by local businesses.
Once the riders started coming back in, a hot meal of smoked pulled pork and all the fixings were ready and sponsored by Cameron Crisp of Smoke Holler BBQ from the Mount Nebo area of Buckhannon. Crisp was asked how things were going and he replied, “The community has come out and really supported the benefit. I’m honored to have been asked to support this cause right here in my community as well!” Crisp prepared and donated a whopping 35 heads of cabbage for slaw, 55 smoked pork butts for BBQ, and 220 pounds of baked beans for participants to enjoy at the fire station or as take-out.
Becki Ferguson, friend of the family, planned the event and carried out her vision. She expressed, “I’m exhausted but in a good way! The community has been wonderful to the Heckman Family and came out in big numbers today to support such a wonderful cause! I couldn’t have done this without the generosity of others! The Ellamore Fire Department is amazing and let us hold our event at their station. But that’s not all. They were stationed along the ride for emergencies, as well as helping set up and clean up, which was a monumental task.”
One of the highlights of the day was seeing a little girl approach Tiar’s grandmother, who was present for the event, and donated all her money she had saved to help support Tiar’s family. “It’s not much, but I wanted to give it to her,” stated Autumn Crisp. Autumn was able to talk to Tiar on FaceTime from her bed at St Jude’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Tiar assisted in drawing numbers out for the auction items over the phone as well. All the folks involved in Tiar’s Winter Wonderland fundraiser would like to thank the sponsors, those who donated time and products, the Ellamore VFD, and the showing of love from this small community!
Some of the drawing winners are listed below and are asked to please pick items up at Just Cuttin’ Up Salon on East Main Street or call (304) 472-5445.
Gun Winner: Jennifer Keiser
50/50 winner of $50: Eric Short
Silent Auction ATV Basket: Erin Perry
Silent Auction Turkey Call: Jamie Pugh
Rocking Chair and Gift Basket: Julia Champion
Ladies Basket, Let it Snow, and Primitive Candles: Denise
Giovanni’s Date Night Basket: Rod Gooden
Deer Bundle: Trena
Assorted Basket: Jamie Pugh
Beauty Basket and Christmas Bundle: Erin Perry
Primitive Chair: Becki Ferguson
Mountain State Paintings: Stella Gibson