By Frank DeLoache
Kids bounced, Jedi and Imperial storm troopers mixed it up and the Chick-fil-A cow moo-ved the crowd.
Although Dena Kimball wished the festival at Salisbury Mall had raised more money for Jacob Greene’s family, she was pleased that many children and parents had fun and their signatures filled up a giant birthday card for Jacob.
Jacob turned 7 on Tuesday, only a few days after he and his family returned from Durham, where Jacob received a bone marrow transplant at Duke University Medical Center.
His parents, Tim and Treshell Greene, had to rent an apartment there so Jacob could go to daily follow-up treatments.
That’s just one of the expenses the family has faced as Jacob has fought to recover from leukemia, first diagnosed when he was 3 years old.
Kimball, a friend and former co-worker of Treshell’s, organized the Saturday fundraiser with her uncle, Tommy Costantino, who recruited the entire Salisbury Optimist Club to help.
They sold food donated by local restaurants, armbands that got children in any of three bounce houses and offered people a chance to bid on donated goods in a silent auction.
Altogether, their efforts raised a little more than $2,300 for the Greenes, Kimball said Wednesday. She said some checks for the Greenes are still coming in to the Optimists.
Entertainers Wendy Roseman, Fisher Street Bank and John Rainey drew a lot of people to the grassy area on the perimeter of the mall.
And “tons of kids” spent what seemed like hours going from one bounce house to the next to the next and then started over again, Kimball said.
“We served the purpose of having a good time and also helping the family,” she said.
“I can’t wait to see Jacob’s face when I give him all this stuff” for his birthday, she added.
For example, members of the Imperial Remnant, a Star Wars re-enactment group, decided to give Jacob an authentic Star Wars helmet, rather than put it in the silent auction.
And Fisher Street Band members took the top off one of their drums and autographed it for Jacob.
Of course, there’s the giant birthday card with all those good wishes.
The Greenes couldn’t attend the fundraiser because they didn’t move home from Durham until Saturday.
“Treshell and Tim are very grateful,” Kimball said. “She was very thankful to everybody who came out.”
Jacob is doing very well with his recovery, Kimball reports. He received his new bone marrow from his younger brother, Nathan.
Doctors have said he might be able to return to school in January, “but he might go back earlier the way he’s excelling,” Kimball said.
“They’re all just excited to be home.”
Tax-deductible gifts can still be made out to Jacob Greene Fundraiser and mailed to Salisbury Optimist Club, care of Jacob Greene Fundraiser, P.O. Box 2043, Salisbury NC 28145.
By Frank DeLoache