~ The following first appeared (with a larger photo spread) in The Floyd Press newspaper on November 21, 2012
The community recently came out in large numbers to support Sekai Talley-LaRoche in a fundraiser benefit for COTA, the children’s organ transplant association that guides communities in raising funds for transplant-related expenses. Nineteen-year-old Sekai has Cystic Fibrosis and needs a double-lung and liver transplant.
The fundraiser, dubbed Kai’s LungFest, featured a complete meal of local food, raffles, a door prize and performances by three bands, including a special onstage appearance of Sekai on bass guitar.
Rob Neukirch, who emceed the event, hosted by Dogtown Roadhouse on Saturday, called the turnout “amazing.” He led the crowd in a cheer for Sekai and cheers for all the volunteers, musicians and local businesses that donated time, skills and merchandise to make the fundraiser a successful and memorable night.
Kai’s Krew, the group of individuals and businesses raising money for COTA in honor of Sekai, is trying to raise $30,000 for the cause. The goal for the Kai’s LungFest was $10,000. Jessica Talley, Sekai’s mother, posted on Facebook the day after the benefit that enough money was raised to ensure Sekai a spot on the transplant list as soon as his doctors determine he is ready. “We still do not have the exact amount that was raised because we need another day or two to calculate some costs, but it appears that we raised at least $9000,” Jessica happily reported.
She thanked everyone involved, saying, “Our family has been so touched by all the support, encouragement, and love. We were amazed to see so many of our friends and family members from all over including – Floyd, Roanoke, Riner, Radford, Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Hillsville, Galax, Pulaski, Pembroke, Woolwine, and even Richmond.” ~ Colleen Redman
Tax deductible donations can be made to Kai’s New Lungs, PO Box 980, Floyd, VA 24091. Make checks payable to: COTA (Children’s Organ Transplant Association). Memo: Sekai Talley-LaRoche. 100% of all proceeds will benefit COTA in honor of Sekai to assist with transplant-related expenses.
Post notes: That’s Sekai playing bass with Spoonfight in photo #4, Sekai’s mom in the brown shirt dancing above that and Sekai and his dad in the shot below it. HERE is a clip of Spoonfight playing at the benefit. Thanks to all readers who hung in there and offered encouragement when my blog was down the last couple of days and for the help I received to figure out what the problem was.