GARDINER — Nathan Williams, a Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley club alum and full-time Army National Guardsman, and his wife, Sarah, recently contacted club members to ask them to host a fundraiser for Nathan’s childhood best friend (also full-time national guardsman) Lee Churchill, and his wife, Brittany, whose 3-year-old daughter, Amelia, had just been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Club members said, “Absolutely, we will,” according to a news release from Ingrid Stanchfield, chief executive officer of the club. Proceeds from the fundraiser will help the family with expenses for the Churchill’s daughter’s treatments in Boston.

“The community support was more than I ever would have imagined. We could not have done this without the support of Boys & Girls Club staff and space,” said Sarah Williams, family friend and event organizer, according to the release.

The event was held Feb. 9 at the Gardiner club. Amici’s Cucina in Waterville donated the pasta dinner. More than 300 people came out for an evening of food, 100 silent auction items, Bone Marrow Drive and 50/50 raffle. An early total raised for the Churchill family was $13,604 from this event and 38 people enrolled as bone marrow donors.

“I am so proud of our club family who, without hesitation, come together to help their neighbors organize and execute this special event. Eight members of our club staff (each having worked all week at his/her vocation), along with our incredible Keystone Club Teens, volunteered to assist in set up, service and clean up for this very important event,” said Stanchfield in the release.

Stanchfield also said that as she looked around the packed gymnasium, lobby and hallway, she saw “community capital” in action. Neighbors were helping neighbors in time of personal crisis. Young men and women who came to the club as kids, and who worked for us over the years, were giving back. “My heart was full of pride at the sight and intention of it all,” she said in the release.

During cleaning up, Amelia’s mom, Brittany Churchill, stopped to express her gratitude and overwhelming appreciation of the support given by Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley to her family. She is so thankful for the positive support they’re receiving during the family’s journey through this life changing event.

Nathan Williams, of Benton, and Lee Churchill, of Unity, grew up in South Gardiner.

About The Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley is a child and family focused organization with Clubhouses at 14 Pray St., in Gardiner, and Chelsea Elementary School. Programs offered include State of Maine licensed childcare for children 6 weeks old to grade five, summer programs for all school age children K-12, sports, 21st Century Community Learning Center afterschool tutoring and enrichment program, senior citizen programs and community gathering space.

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