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Hartselle Enquirer

Florette fundraiser benefits cancer victim

Alex Karras

A fundraiser is being planned Oct. 16, at the Soggy Bottom Music Barn for a six-year-old cancer victim whose grandparents live in the Florette Community.
The benefit will consist of the sale of smoked Boston butts and whole chickens, barbecue pork and chicken plates as well as homemade stew, chili and desserts. A variety of live musical entertainment will be featured, beginning at 11:30 a.m. A prize drawing and auction are also scheduled.
Benefiting from the fundraiser will be the family of Alex Karras, who is undergoing treatment at Vanderbilt Medical Center for high-risk neuroblastoma cancer. His parents are Erik and Andrea Gilchrist Kallas of Springfield, Tenn. His maternal grandparents are Skeggs and Francine Gilchrist of Somerville.
Alex, a Russian orphan who was adopted at age 1, was diagnosed Nov. 20, 2009. Since that time, he has undergone surgery to remove a tumor from his adrenalin gland, had seven chemotherapy treatments and a stem cell implant.  The initial prognosis gave him a 20 to 30 percent chance of survival but that has improved some with treatments.
The Karras family was making plans to move to Morgan County when their son was diagnosed.  Andrea was forced to put her career as a real estate agent on hold and stay home to take care of Alex and Erik went ahead with plans to take a new job in Huntsville. Their two younger children, Lincoln, 3 1/2 and Annika, 2, have lived with the Gilchrist family since last Christmas and Erik joined them in February.
Alex is an autistic child who was attending kindergarten when he was stricken with cancer.
Several families from the Florette, Somerville and Cotaco communities have volunteered their time and expertise for the fundraiser. Men will smoke the meat and women will take charge of ticket sales, bake cakes and other desserts and handle packaging and serving.
Those who are willing to support the project by placing orders to go are asked to call 256-778-8859 or 256-778-8717.  Smoked butts are $25, whole chickens, $8; barbecue plate, $6 and half-chicken barbecue plate, $8. Orders may be picked up from 5 to 7 p.m. In addition, plate s will be sold at the music barn. Also available will be homemade stew, chili .hot dogs
and desserts.
Entertainers will include Jerry and Don Collins Band, G. Turney,  Dale Windsor, Shannon Moses, Leslee Scott group, Plus One gospel group, Cotaco Creek Band and The Fairlanes.

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