SAVANNA – Sullivan’s Foods hosted the “Brave the Winter Cookout to Benefit the Nevaeh LaFrancois Family” on Friday, Jan. 10, to help raise funds for Nevaeh LaFrancois, a 2-year-old girl in need of a heart transplant.
Pork chop sandwiches, hamburgers and brats were served fresh from the grill during the cook-out. Proceeds will go to the LaFrancois family.
(Top) Savanna Mayor Tony McCombie (L) is served by Carrie Christensen of Sullivan’s Foods. Shelly Bousman also helped serve, saying “It’s a great turnout already (at noon). I’ll bet there are $1000 in donations so far!”
(Rt) Sullivan’s Foods’ Douglas Milder cooked up hundreds of pork chops, hamburgers and brats during the 2-hour fundraiser.1
“We sold a total of 340 sandwiches during the two hour period, and raised a total of $1,880.00 for Navaeh and her family,” said Kathy Christensen, Vice President of Human Resources for Sullivan’s Foods. “Several of Sullivan’s workers donated their own time to the project, coming in on their day off.”
Help also came in other ways, Christensen said. “A very special ‘thank you’ to Metform and their associates, as all four factories placed a large order, as well as the the West Carroll Elementary School and TNT Iron Works.
“In addition to the sandwiches that were sold, many of the factory workers and customers were very generous and donated extra dollars. There was even a man who was driving by from ‘out of town’ who pulled up and did not order anything, but took the last dollars out of his wallet.”
Nevaeh, the daughter of Ashley and Ray LaFrancois of Galena, is currently hospitalized in Chicago where she will remain until the call comes for a heart transplant.
Her infant brother, Ray III, is being cared for by his grandparents, Ray and Sheri (Curley) LaFrancois in Savanna, along with aunts and uncles.
Grandma Sheri, who was not aware of the event, just happened to be going into Sullivan’s Foods, and saw the cookout.
“She was astounded and so appreciative of the community’s efforts and support,” Christensen noted. “She couldn’t give enough praise to all the customers who were purchasing and donating, as well as those that were working.
“Grandma Sheri reported that Nevaeh continues to be in a holding pattern at the hospital in Chicago, but due to all the equipment and with her heart only functioning at 10%, she is confined to her hospital room. She said Nevaeh remains a high-spirited toddler.”