Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Saturday fundraiser to benefit two local families
Donations go to child with cancer, family that loss mother

by Rob Ireland

April 14, 2011

Walworth — One family is coping with the sudden loss of its mother, and another family is helping a second-grader battle a rare form of cancer.

Both families are tied to Walworth Joint 1 School District and the school is planning a fundraiser to help them with some of their financial needs.

On April 16, the school will host a spaghetti dinner from 5 to 7 p.m., the cost of the dinner is $5. There also will be silent auctions and raffles for the gift baskets that have been collected. Bingo and a 50-50 raffles will also be featured at the event.

The spaghetti dinner will benefit Rolando Soto, a second-grader who is receiving treatment for cancer, and the Beal family.

Why did Walworth Elementary decide to host the spaghetti dinner?

"Our school is the heart of our community and we care very deeply for our students and these families," Guidance Counselor Jennifer Ott-Wilson said

At the end of 2010, Rolando was diagnosed with salivary gland cancer, which according to the Mayo Clinic is a rare form of cancer. "Salivary glands make saliva, which aids in digestion and keeps your mouth moist," according to the Mayo Clinic's website.

Rolando travels to the Children's Hospital in Milwaukee daily to receive radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

Main office secretary Eileen Coleman said the school wants to raise money to provide for the Soto family. Coleman said the money can be used for gas for the family's daily trips to Milwaukee and for hotels when in Milwaukee.

On Jan. 17, Demetria Beal, died an of undisclosed sudden illness. She was 30. Two of her children, Rayne, first-grade and, Emeril, junior kindergarten, attend Walworth Elementary School. She also has two children who aren't yet in school.

District Administrator Pam Knorr said she hopes to raise enough money for the Soto family's travels and to provide food and clothing for the Beal family.

"Our goal is to raise as much as we can," she said. "We have been very blessed with the support of our community."

Knorr said parents and numerous local businesses have donated items for the gift baskets that will be auctioned and raffled off.

Inside of Rolando's classroom, his classmates know he is sick and goes for daily treatment for his illness. However, they haven't been told he has salivary gland cancer.

Because of his illness and treatment, Rolando misses a lot of school. His teacher, Sue Barker, said when Rolando can come to school, he works in a classroom with a small group setting to help him catch up.

"We make the most of his time here," Barker said. "He gets basically the things he needs to be successful."