While the rain poured down outside, emotions were flowing inside the Walden on Lake Houston Country Club on the evening of March 6 as Keller Williams Realty agents and the community came together to raise money for Stacie Rhea, a victim of the terminal disease ALS also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Rhea, the daughter-in-law of Keller Williams Realty Northeast co-owner Judy Hopkins, was the guest of honor at the benefit hosted by Keller Williams which raised more than $31,000. The funds will go towards completing a renovation to Rhea’s home in Iowa, so that the 38-year-old mother of three can stay close to her family as her illness progresses.
A highlight of the ceremonies recognizing Rhea was when Anthony Trahan sang to her Josh Groban’s "You Raise Me Up." Rhea, overwhelmed with emotion, acknowledged the crowd of well-wishers: "People I don't know have opened their hearts to me. I can't thank you enough."
She explained that she is the fourth generation in her family to be stricken with the disease and also the youngest. She said that she has been all over the country trying to find hope for her situation. Her hope has come from a doctor who told her that the people who live the longest with the disease have three things in common: a belief in God, strong family support and a positive attitude. “I have a 4 year old, a 6 year old and a 12 year old quadriplegic son. I have a lot of people depending on me and I refuse to surrender to this disease.”
The fund-raising event included a Taste of the Town with food donated by the following local restaurants: J Christopher's, Windy City Pizza, Roma's Cucina Italiana, Raffa's, Amedeo's, Tin Roof BBQ, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, Solo To Go, Panera Bread and Elite Treats. Money was raised through live and silent auctions of items donated by local businesses and individuals including: Celeste Creager, Diane Flicker, Terri Blewett, Debbi Dixon, Susan Molz, Jennifer Blalock, and the Orleans Square merchants in Atascocita.
Donations to the Stacie Rhea fund will continue to be accepted at: Keller Williams Realty Northeast, 20665 W. Lake Houston Pwky., Kingwood, TX; 281-358-4545.