Fundraiser to help 6-year-old Blaine girl

Published on Thu, Apr 28, 2011 by Tara Nelson

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A family-style fundraising dinner and silent auction next week will benefit a 6-year-old girl with leukemia.

Valerie Minjarez lives in Blaine with her parents, Valerie and Gilbert, and five brothers and sisters. The family moved here three years ago from Chicago, and a few months after arriving Valerie was diagnosed with high-risk ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia).

Tanya Hendrikson, a friend of the family who is organizing the event, said at this point, Minjarez’s only option is to receive blood transfusions every three days at Seattle Children’s Hospital. While her father is able to work to support the family, her mother was forced to take a leave of absence from her job as a nurse three years ago to focus on her daughter’s treatment and care for her full time.

Hendrikson said while she has come to know the family as “strong, warm and wonderful people,” they are emotionally and financially exhausted.

“As strong as they are, they are in need of help from their community,” she said. “If we can help with their burden, even a little, it could lift the spirits of this whole family and give them just the boost they need to keep fighting.”

The fundraiser is scheduled from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, May 6, at the Blaine middle school cafeteria. It will include an Italian-style dinner with Scott Meaker’s pizza and spaghetti and Caesar salad by Peg Cutting of The Tabletop Shoppe.

The event will also include a silent auction, face painting, carnival games, balloon animals and a dessert auction table. Admission is $12 for adults and $5 for children. Those dressed as princesses will be admitted for free.

Hendrickson said they are also in need of donations for the silent auction. Donations will be accepted at Banner Bank under the “Valerie Minjarez Fund.”

For more information or to donate, call 360/393-0394.