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Remembering Rhoades benefit is Feb. 17

Jan. 31—RUSHVILLE — For the 10th time, local resident Cathy Rhoades, with the help of several dedicated volunteers, is organizing a benefit fundraiser in memory of her deceased husband, Dennis Rhoades. The event is scheduled for 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Knights of Columbus, 227 E. Third Street, Rushville.

Proceeds from previous Remembering Rhoades benefits have gone to area residents who are battling cancer and this year's gathering is no exception, with a portion of the funds generated earmarked for Michelle Whitfield, who is battling Stage 3 breast cancer. What isn't given to Whitfield will be donated to the Rush County Community Assistance Food Pantry.

Planning for the 10th and final Remembering Rhoades benefit is underway.

Cathy offered her thanks to everyone who has supported Remembering Rhoades over the years.

"Together, we have made a difference for many," she said. "Over the years, dozens of kind and generous volunteers have worked with me on the benefit; many have helped from the beginning. Michelle, with her family, has been with me from the start. Michelle's dad, Keith Combs, a coworker and friend of Dennis and mine, was my auctioneer for years. Michelle is one of the most selfless people I know. She always puts others' needs above hers, but now she needs our help. Michelle has undergone a mastectomy, and is currently receiving radiation treatments."

The evening will feature a four-piece chicken dinner from the K of C for $16 per person.

There will also be a live auction with Rusty Harmeyer providing his enthusiastic and entertaining services.

A raffle is underway for a three-night Tennessee cabin stay donated by Jeff and Tammy O'Mara, and a hog will be raffled off in halves. Auction items are still needed; individuals and businesses willing to donate are asked to contact Cathy at 765-570-3656 or Jon Lykins at 765-561-5261.

Raffle tickets are now available from Rita Adams, Tina Brooks, Lori Mastin, Karen Cox, Jon Lykins, Kim Randolph, Lisa Boaz, Penny Pike, Cassie Thomas, Georgia Gurley and Cathy Rhoades.

"Reach out to one of us and we'll get the tickets to you," Cathy said.

In addition, The Billy Brown Band is returning and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser as he and his band deliver energetic county music favorites.

Benefit History

Dennis Rhoades was a Waldron High School graduate and worked at RushShelby Energy for 33 years, where his widow, Cathy, continues to work.

In 2006, Dennis was diagnosed with melanoma, which started in a mole on his shoulder. Doctors did all they could, but he passed away on May 13, 2013 at the age of 57.

"He fought so hard," Cathy said in a previous interview. "He wanted to live so bad, and loved life."

After Rhoades death, Cathy decided to help others.

"In his memory, we created Remembering Rhoades," she said. "During his time in the hospital, hospice and countless doctors appointments, I met so many people with so many struggles besides having to deal with cancer. We were very blessed to have great insurance and were able to concentrate on the fight at hand. Remembering Rhoades isn't able to do a lot, but our goal is to let them do whatever they want with the money. There is not much time for family or yourself while going to the doctor all the time. If it's taking your family out for supper or pampering yourself, do it! [Dennis] was always willing to help others, even while he was sick, and we want to continue his pay-it-forward way and keep his name alive."

Kevin Green: kevin.green@greensburgdailynews.com or 812-651-0885.