By: Derby Organizer
Normally when someone in Pleasant Hill talks about being "under the Friday Night Lights" they are talking about the high school football team playing at Eklund Field. This last Friday night, this town came together in a way that only it can coming out to support #DeanosFight at the Sports Complex to hit a Home Run against Osteosarcoma and Child Hood Cancer. A platform was set for this to be a fun event for family and friends to show the Grahams how much they are loved and give a visible sign of support, all while having a little fun.
The town of Pleasant Hill took this platform and really put on a show. There were over 100 participants who came out to take a swing for the fences. An estimated 500 people came out to the event either to participate, volunteer, donate or just spectate the event. The Derby was able to raise over $20,000 in this one night and the donations just keep coming into the Community Bank of Pleasant Hill, even as this article is being read. This outpouring of support will hopefully help to let Dean enjoy being a kid, as this has all made him turn too adult too soon.
The Grahams cannot fully express their thanks to this community as Katrina (Dean's mother) stated, "Two simple little words of 'Thank You' cannot do justice to show how much we are humbled and appreciate all that this town has done." It gave them a chance to reconnect with old teammates, family, friends, even teams that Dean has played against in the past to show just how wide this community can reach. We cannot express enough thanks to all those that contributed, in any way, as this showing of love reached so many in such a short time.
Even while the Grahams are going through the worst storm imaginable, having this rock them to their core, they still are thinking of others. While the Derby was still underway, they said that they would like to do this event yearly as there is always a family in need and they would love to be a part of helping pass this love forward. It is also just an outstanding way for this community to put any and all differences aside and come together for a good cause. One kid even asked, "When will the next town party be?"