Community softball tournament and auction to raise funds
By Jillian Chandler
It is incredible and heartwarming to see how the Bonners Ferry community comes together when someone we know is suffering and needs our support. Earlier this year, Joey Brewer, who many know as that crazy, fun-loving kid with one leg, was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer.
First diagnosed with cancer at age 6 and again less than two years later, today, at age 26, he is once again fighting the battle. A fundraiser will be held September 19 and 20, with funds raised going directly to help alleviate some of the costs of treatment.
“When we first found out that Joey had cancer again, it was heartbreaking to say the least,” says Amanda Brewer, Joey’s sister. “Joey took it pretty well at first though, but as the weeks went on you could tell the symptoms were really starting to affect him.”
Though he’s been experiencing a lot of pain and losing a lot of sleep, Joey is still in good spirits. He is fortunate to have an amazing support system made up of friends, family and his girlfriend Ashley—also a cancer survivor. “I think she came into his life at just the right time,” affirms Amanda.
After finding out about the cancer, the realization soon hit that Joey would soon be turning 26, meaning he would no longer be covered under his father’s insurance. “That’s really when we started feeling the financial pressure of all of this,” recalls Amanda.
As a family who loves to play softball with friends, and after a bit of brainstorming ways to fundraise rather than just another GoFundMe page, a softball benefit was in the works.
“Seeing the response not only from our community, but also coming from Sandpoint, Coeur d’Alene, and even Spokane, was incredible,” smiles Amanda. “It was only a few days after the flyer had posted that the roster for the teams was filled. We still had teams wanting to sign up, but we now have a full roster of 14 teams and will no longer be accepting any more."
The two-day event will take place September 19 and 20, with games starting at 8am both days. A 50/50 home run derby will be held toward the end. Live music and a beer garden (courtesy of The Cross Time Saloon) are currently in the works. Compass Grill will be on-site with their food truck. There will be a silent auction with a variety of items to bid on—from bleaching kits and Sonicare toothbrushes, car detailing and professional photography, to a room at the Kootenai River Inn and gift cards/certificates from numerous businesses. “There are so many things that are being donated for this event, I can’t even list them all!” exclaims Amanda.
The more people who are able to attend the event, even if not participating in the tournament, the more money our community can raise for Joey. Amanda is seeking out businesses to help sponsor this event by donating anywhere from $50 to $200. “We know it’s been a difficult time for our local businesses during this pandemic, so we are truly grateful for anything.”
If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, or for additional information, you can contact Amanda Brewer at 208.217.4052 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For those who would like to donate directly, they can do so through the Joey Brewer’s Medical Fund, which has been set up through Mountain West Bank.