The community is joining together to give their support for one of their own, Andrea Keller.
Keller, Seagull class of 1997, now living in Olympia and working for the Washington State Health Department, has been dealing with health issues from an early age and is on a waiting list for organ transplants at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle.
"We just wanted to bring attention to Andrea's situation and try and help her get what she needs, now and in the future," said Kaley Hanson of Raymond.
Hanson and his wife, Sami, along with several other classmates, friends and family of Keller are putting together an adult prom night on February 14, as a benefit for Keller and her continued medical costs.
"At the age of 12, I found out that I was diabetic. After attending a church camp, I fell into a diabetic coma and had to be taken to the hospital. I have been dealing with being a diabetic ever since," said Keller.
Keller recalls that she was in and out of her diabetic coma and that her reading was off the scale over 1,000 at the time. The hospital was able to get her sugar levels back under control, but left her as a diabetic.
As a preteen, Keller was still able to participate in many activities at school like playing sports. Keller played for the Seagull volleyball team, golfed for four years, played fastpitch softball and was a member of several clubs and activities during her time at Raymond High School. But as time progressed her situation worsened to the point that she now requires the lifesaving transplant of two of her internal organs at the age of 35.
"Sami and I have a friend named Andrea Keller. Many of you know her. For those of you who don't, Andrea is in need of a life saving kidney/pancreas transplant and has been placed on the transplant list at Swedish Medical Center. This is great news however she now faces significant healthcare costs. After the double transplant, the drugs just to keep her body from rejecting her new organs are an estimated $1,000/month after insurance. With her blessing we are planning an Adult Prom as a fundraiser to help offset these costs," said Hanson via his Facebook site.
Keller currently is now on a regimen of Peritoneal dialysis four times a day - everyday. But the prognosis after the transplant will give her a healthy kidney and pancreas, and provide her a normal life.
The community is joining in with the Hanson's and is providing items for a silent auction that will also be running to help bring in additional funds.
The event will be held at the Raymond Elks, starting at 8 pm on Feb. 14. The adult prom, ages 18 and older, will feature a Michael Jackson cover band as well as DJ Pete Bitty.
The cost of the benefit is $25 that includes champagne and hors d'oeuvers.
To assist those in getting ready for the Valentine's Ball and Benefit for Andrea Keller several area businesses are providing timely specials that will also give donations to Keller.
Exclusive deals for ticket holders include:
* At Jared's Beauty Boutique, anyone wishing to get that special hair style or makeup items for the event will see a percentage for any services that are purchased going to the event. Give them a call and set up your appointment.
* Boutonnieres and Corsages can be found at Elixir Coffee, Tea and Flowers. Orders must be in by February 12 and you can pick up your decorative flowers at the shop or if you choose to have your dinner date at the 101 Public House, which is providing a surf and turf special at $26, which includes a salad. Just let Elixir know if you will be dining at the Public House and your flowers will be delivered to your table with your dinner order. Reservations are required.
* Harley's Bar and Grill will also be offering a Prime Rib ($22) or Roasted Chicken dinner ($18) with a percentage going to the charity. Vegetables, salad and a roll are included, reservations are required. The Pitchwood Ale House is offering a 50% off dinner special with complimentary campaign or soda. Call ahead to make your reservation and then get your dancing shoes on as you head out for the prom.
* To get you in the right attire, Jensen's is running a tuxedo special if you need a rental. You can pay full price and 50% of that goes to Andrea or pay-half and they will donate the remainder. Get your orders in before Feb. 2.
* The 101 Public House has formal wear and are offering 10-50% off any formal wear.
"We encourage people to dress formally from any era they choose, but it is not a requirement to attend the event," said Hanson.
During the night there will also be a vote for Prom King and Queen as well as Best Dressed. Spend sometime dancing and having fun before you cast your ballot (on the back of your ticket). Winners will be announced at about 10:30 pm, after all the ballots have been counted.
"There is still room for more donations that can be added to the silent auction or just a straight donation," continued Hanson.
Tickets for the event can be purchased at the Raymond Elks or the Pitchwood, cash or check. If you need to use a credit card, tickets can be purchased online at Brown Paper Tickets.com; just search on Andrea Keller or Valentine's Ball and Benefit for Andrea Keller.
"The event is a way to help out a friend and have a little fun. It is our hope that people will join in the fun of the night and are encouraged to wear formal attire from any era, but is not mandatory for attendance," notes Hanson.
If you would like to donate or get involved with the event email Kaley Hanson at firstname.lastname@example.org" email@example.com or send him a private message on his Facebook page.