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Group planning fundraiser to help young cancer patient
An update on a story 6 News reported Wednesday: A Somerset woman has been charged after state police say she bought hundreds of Sheetz coupon books and used a sick child's story to make money for herself.
State police said Mandy Klinkner purchased the booklets
in March but the company said it never received the $1,600 she owed them.
Police said she also kept an extra $400 that was supposed to go to 4-year-old Rory Auman,
who's battling stage four cancer. Rory's family said they never received a dime.
In the meantime, the community is coming together to help Rory's family. There's been an outpouring of support from viewers, asking 6 News how they can help. One group has already started planning an event to help the family.
Johnstown, Somerset, Pennsylvania Sales Bonanza is a group that got together earlier this year to help non-profit organizations and struggling families by holding fundraisers.
"This one came up and you know, it was just like, "We have to do this,'" said Tina Cox, CEO of the group. "Of course everyone was a hundred percent for this."
Cox heard Rory's story earlier this week and found out about the woman who's accused of stealing from her family, she knew JSPA had to step in.
"It affected me because she didn't just hurt adults, she hurt a little girl and a family who's really, really in need," said Cox. "It just breaks my heart."
Rory is battling stage 4 cancer and her parents said they're not sure how much longer she'll be around. The family has already exhausted most of their saivings, and with both of her parents out of work, they've moved to a smaller house and are struggling to make ends meet.
JSPA has already started planning a benefit for the family in November.
"We don't want Rory's family to put out a penny for this whatsoever," said Cox. "They will make 100 percent of all the proceeds that come in from the admissions, the concession and bake sales. we take none of that money from the non profit, that's 100 percent theirs."
The benefit is scheduled for Nov. 2 at the Quality Inn Tropical Courtyard in Somerset. Admission will cost $1 and will include raffle tickets. Extra tickets will be available to purchase.
While the benefit is still a month away but the group needs help. They're not only hoping to receive donations of food, gift baskets and raffle items, they're asking for volunteers. Anyone who would like to help can call Cox at 814-467-8920. You can also check out the group on Facebook or visit jspasalesbonanza.org.