(Brookfield, Morrisville, NY – March 2012) A Benefit was held on March 3 to assist the family of Emily Salka of Brookfield, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in January. Emily, 18, had surgery at Upstate-Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse and was followed up at the M D Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. She is currently receiving radiation and chemotherapy here.
The outpouring of support for the Salka’s as they travel the 100 miles to Syracuse and home, five days a week, has been truly heartwarming.
This benefit was planned and carried out by a number of people who work for Madison County at their home base in Wampsville. It was this group of individuals who work at the county, including Lynn Jones and Ann Jones from the Board of Elections, who put together this event. A dinner was hosted by the students involved in the Hospitality program at Morrisville State College. On very short notice it was planned and executed. Many thanks are due to them.
So many people and groups must be thanked for their participation in and response to this happening. At least 65 individual baskets and other things were assembled for a silent auction. Several came from Heritage Farm.
Heather Earl, aunt of Emily, put together 22 different baskets and sent them here from her home in Western. Many individual prizes were contributed by the supervisors and other political dignitaries who represent Madison County.
Varano photography in Rome sent several gift cards. A one hour plane ride, dinners, overnight at a local B & B, tickets to the Nelson Odeon were among the other things that people could bid on. There are many who are not cited here just because I do not have a true reckoning yet. We acknowledge them and are grateful.
In addition, the Madison County Courier has received many donations in response to their posting in the newspaper regarding Emily from people who wanted to help but could not attend the dinner.
Also, thank you everyone, for the cards and words of concern both spoken and written. There are many churches with Emily’s name on their prayer lists. A quilt for her was made by the folks from St. John’s Episcopal Church in Oneida with each of the 32 knots tied by a different person. They prayed as they worked on the quilt. What a lovely, symbolic, project.
To fight such a difficult diagnosis takes more than “modern medicine” and high tech intervention. Emily has received tremendous support and undoubtedly this wide concern from so many people will be truly helpful.
Movies of the Three Stooges, favorites of Emily, played on screen during the benefit.
A good, if reflective time, was had by all who were participants in this beautiful community effort.
Denise Earl is the grandmother of Emily Salka.