Charleswood neighbors plan Saturday benefit for Phillips familyPaul Weierke and Jason Phillips spend a lot of time together. They hunt. They play cards. There are bonfires and golf outings. So when Weierke saw his friend in need he knew he had to help.
By: Nathan Hansen, The Farmington Independent
Paul Weierke and Jason Phillips spend a lot of time together. They hunt. They play cards. There are bonfires and golf outings. So when Weierke saw his friend in need he knew he had to help.
On Saturday, Weirke and his neighbors in the Charleswood development will hold a benefit event for Phillips and his wife, Karin. Karin, pregnant with triplets, went into premature labor last Nov. 25. One of the babies was stillborn. The other two, each just over a pound at birth, have struggled with health problems and have undergone several surgeries. Neither can be held for more than 45 minutes a day.
It’s a difficult ending to what should have been a joyous occasion. The couple had tried for years to have children and had already had several miscarriages.
The surviving babies, both boys, have had heart surgeries. One had a stent installed to drain fluid from his brain. Both are on ventilators.
That kind of medical care means big bills. And while the couple should be covered eventually, the up-front costs have left them in a difficult financial situation. Both Jason and Karin work full-time jobs and spend much of their free time at the hospital.
That’s where Weierke thought he could help. A trustee for the last seven years at the Farmington Eagles Club, he started putting together an event to help raise money.
“I just started calling all the neighbors and said, ‘We’ve gotta put together a benefit for them,’” Weierke said. “We’re just trying to take a little of the bearing off of them.”
Saturday’s event will run from 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and will include Bingo games, a dinner a raffle and a silent auction. There have been a number of prizes donated.
“Most of the stuff is local businesses around here. A $10 gift certificate. Free bowling,” Weierke said. “We’ve got bigger items like scarves and quilts and CD players. We’ve got some iPods coming in.”
Weierke said both boys are doing as well as can be expected. Doctors want them to weigh at least 2 1/2 pounds before they go home.