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Valentine fundraiser to benefit Ray family

This Valentine’s season a group of East Hamilton residents is asking locals to have a heart for a special person in the community.

Addison Ray is 5 years old, but unlike other children her age, she isn’t potty trained or learning to read.

Before her second birthday she was diagnosed with Angelman syndrome, a rare genetic disease that causes developmental delay, lack of speech, seizures and balance problems.

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Contributed photo

The Ray family — from left, Addison, Gracie, Chris, Michelle and Mercy — currently spends more than $360 a month caring for Addison who has Angelman syndrome, a rare genetic disease. Several East Hamilton residents lead by Janet Sivils are hosting a benefit for the Ray family to assist them with expenses related to Addison’s care and help them purchase critical items she needs like ankle-foot orthotics.

Despite her status as fully disabled, insurance does not cover many of the expenses related to Addison’s daily care, which is why Janet Sivils and several other East Brainerd residents are providing a fundraiser for Addie and her parents, Chris and Michelle.

“Chris and Michelle are providing her the most normal lifestyle that they are able to,” said Sivils. “It is admirable and inspirational and these are many of the reasons that I have offered to help them. It is not because they asked.”

The Valentine’s-themed party and fundraiser to benefit the Rays will take place Feb. 12 from 3-7 p.m. at the Hurricane Creek Clubhouse, located at 615 Hurricane Creek Road. The event will feature a spaghetti dinner, Valentine crafts for kids and a silent auction, and the entire East Brainerd community is invited.

According to Sivils, more than 15 items have been donated to the silent auction including a Pampered Chef gift basket and two 30-minute massages from Massage for Stress. Cash, check and credit cards will be accepted for donations and payments at the event.

“This is a group effort by friends to help this family and this precious girl during this time of need,” said Sivils. “This is the first time that anyone has organized an event to help the Ray family with the expenses related to Addie.”

For more information or the RSVP to the event, contact Michelle Ray at 309-7649 or journeymidwifery@gmail.com.

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