The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

Overwhelming support: Wacee Simenson's Benefit draws more than 600


May 16, 2018

Wacee Simenson has been a trooper these past few months and his 'Warriors' showed their support for his fight by holding a benefit in his honor. Above right: More than 600 attended the fundraiser.

If there is one thing that seems to be a certainty, it's the way neighbors help neighbors in Blaine County and across the Hi-line. This past winter, the fire before that, the recent flood, the October snowstorm are all prime examples of communities coming together to help each other out.

Beyond recovering from Natural Disasters or unexpected tragedies, local residents have come together to help individuals and families deal with sudden medical hardships. So many examples of this can be found, going all the way back to the beginning, to just the past few years. Be it teachers and faculty shaving their heads to help one of their students or coworkers, to silent auctions and raffles to help defray medical costs.

The latest example of this is the recent benefit held at the Blaine County Fairground Commercial Building where hundreds gathered to raise funds for the Simenson family.

Justin and Tomi Simenson along with their sons Wylee and Waycee have been on a roller coaster of emotion, hospitals and medical treatment that has certainly put a strain on 'normalcy'.

On February 9th a football size mass was found in Wacee's upper body and was later determined to be T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. Waycee has completed chemotherapy and after spending months in Denver and Kalispell hospitals is back home but was unable to attend the benefit for precautionary reasons.

At the outset a GoFundMe page was set up and through Facebook immediately gained traction and within a few weeks several thousands of dollar had been raised.

The Blaine County Fairboard decided to hold a benefit for the Simenson's and Debbie Ramberg, a family friend spearheaded the benefit. The event was a huge success featured a plethora of Silent and Live Auction items that stretched the length of the building, a free will donation Taco feed and live music. "We served over 500 people and had attendance of more than 600," Ramberg stated.

"It was really something special, everything went to the family. The Fairboard provided the commercial building, the Eagles employees donated their time to work the event and while there was a small charge from the Eagles to cover some expenses but they made a donation on top of it." added Ramberg.

"It's such a wonderful community we live in, and beyond," said Ramberg. "We had donations come in from across the state to help out and the Facebook community did a wonderful job getting the word out and supporting the cause.

Wacee's parents, Justin and

Wacee didn't get to go to the event but was close by and still the star of the night. Tomi and Justin were able to attend and big brother Wylee was busy helping sell T-shirts throughout the evening. "Is' unbelievable the amount of support and generosity everyone has shown us," said Tomi. "Justin and I are just blown away by everything and we are so grateful and thankful to the entire community."

One of the highlights of the Auction was the sale of a beautiful fire pit. Employees of First Bank and CHS were the winning bidders with a $4,000 offer and then promptly donated it to the Simenson's. "For them to do that was incredible, it's so much money and to then give it to us to enjoy is amazing," Tomi concluded.

How does Wacee feel about the community, "I can't believe all these people keep doing things for me!"


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