Special Saturday

Published 9:06 am Friday, June 12, 2009

Saturday offers an opportunity for Western Tidewater residents to open their hearts and wallets for several good causes.

If you like barbecue, we encourage you to stock up because doing so on this day will help several members of the community.

Purchasing a meal at the annual Beanfest (see Page 1) will help former Smithfield Police Lt. Kurt Beach, who contracted hepatitis while trying to save a dying infant, pay the medical bills he has accrued by having to have a liver transplant.

Two other families, both hit by debilitating disease, will be the subjects of fundraisers that day, too.

At 8 a.m.Saturday, a Poker Run will start at Fred’s Restaurant in Franklin to help raise funds for the family of 34-year-old Michael Pittman. Pittman, a former real estate agent, has been struck by Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

The money from the Poker Run and from a corresponding barbecue, horseshoe tournament and silent auction will go to help the Pittman family pay his mounting medical bills.

And from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, barbecue — both in bulk and dinner form — will be available for sale to help the family of 9-year-old Madison Arnot.

Madison was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder that all but guarantees that she will get colon cancer.

She recently had her colon removed and was the youngest patient with the disorder whom doctors at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters had treated.

The medical bills to take care of Madison, who requires tube feeding and round-the-clock care, have been mounting, and the proceeds from the barbecue sale help her struggling parents offset those costs.

Too much food in your kitchen after that? The Friendly Rider Motorcycle Club also will be hosting a food drive from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Franklin National Guard Armory.