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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Sports > General

Community rallies in support of recent S.W. grad

Aug 4, 2017

By Joseph Abraham - sports editor

By: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
James Burlingame
CALLICOON - Athletic. Bright. Caring. Funny. All are adjectives used to describe Sullivan West Class of 2017 graduate James Burlingame.
Three weeks after graduation, Burlingame received bad news.
He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Now, the surrounding community is rallying to help. On Saturday, August 12 from Noon to 5 p.m., there will be a bone marrow drive in his honor at the Delaware Youth Center in Callicoon. Burlingame's family reached out to Faith Metzinger, who organizes several bone marrow drives in the area.
“This all started with a phone call from James' Aunt Donna, who was my neighbor for many years, on the day he was diagnosed,” Metzinger said. “The next day his Mom, Julie, called and she was lost. She was so afraid as any Mom would be and I told her then let's do a bone marrow drive for James. He is so deeply loved and respected in the community that the outcry to help was strong.
“I talked with his stepmom Christine and some of his friends and it was put together. Tonya Dirie, Amanda Wagner, Bobbi Hubbert, Peggy Hellerer, Ruth Ackermann, Lisa Edwards and Catherine Scott have all rolled up their sleeves and pounded the pavement, along with literally dozens of other volunteers stopping by and grabbing flyers, going to businesses getting donations and doing anything and everything to make this the biggest and most successful event we've ever had.”
In addition to the drive, items will be raffled off to raise money to help pay for Burlingame's medical expenses. So far, several local businesses have pitched in to help donate things to raffle off. Some of these items include: weekend vacations at the Villa Roma Resort, The Sullivan in Rock Hill and Woodloch Pines Resort in Lake Wallenpaupak, Pa; a custom built 6x8 garden shed by T.Hill Sheds, as well as four Jets and Patriots tickets given to them by Landscape By Design.
“Every restaurant, store, shop, everything and anyone have said ‘How can we help'...We have 30-40 people baking for the country bake sale as well as a 50/50, giveaways, door prizes and more. Over 30 gift baskets will be on hand, and so much more, we're getting calls and donations every day,” Metzinger said.
They have a facebook event that can be followed called, “Burlys Basket and Bone Marrow Fundraiser” that they update many times a day.
“I would love to swab everyone who walks through the door!” Metzinger said. “We're ready with a team of trained volunteers and I have 300 swab kits ready to go!
“Although I have never met James myself personally (yet), there's a connection there because he's a neighbor with leukemia, and this community is doing what it does best, we stick together,” Metzinger said. “He is a truly adored young man, and he has leukemia, and we need to help him...and we are.”





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