PFM for Ian: Goal met, but the support keeps on coming

Dance-a-Thon for Ian, a fundraiser for Ian Gunnell
Dance-a-Thon for Ian, a fundraiser for Ian Gunnell's medical fund, raised $2,050, Feb. 23 at the Poulsbo Sons of Norway.
— image credit: Kipp Robertson / Herald

POULSBO — It doesn't seem to matter that the fundraising goal for Ian Gunnell was met Feb. 14, because support from the community just keeps on coming.

On Valentine's Day "we exceeded the goal," said Melisa Holmes, fundraising coordinator and Gunnell family friend. "We were feeling the love."

Fundraising went over the $100,000 mark Feb. 14, reaching $102,000, Holmes said.

But donations haven't stopped. Funds for Ian, who was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia Sept. 7, 2012, have grown to $107,000 as of Feb. 28.

The goal was met in about four-and-a-half months.

The next fundraising opportunity is March 2 at Central Market. Girl Scout Troop No. 45052 will be outside selling cookies all day. Money raised will go to Ian's fight.

On March 16, the community will have an opportunity to celebrate a special occasion as well: Ian’s seventh birthday. The celebration will be held at Vinland Elementary School, 9 a.m. to noon. A special showing of "The Avengers" will be shown; suggested donation is $1. Any children attending are encouraged to dress as a super hero; no masks. Everyone is encouraged to bring a handmade card for Ian.

Because Ian is expected to be undergoing treatments around his birthday, he will most likely not be attending, Holmes said. However, a live video feed from Seattle Children's Hospital will let guests sing Ian "Happy Birthday."

The birthday event will also be a celebration of the community reaching the $100,000 goal. Holmes said people who have helped sponsor events will be recognized.

"We're hoping to just end with a bang," Holmes said of the fundraising wrapping up. "It's just been amazing."

Fundraising is not planned to completely wrap-up, however.

On April 20, Kitsap CrossFit is planning a special "hero workout" for Ian. Donations will be accepted for Ian.

During the annual Relay for Life July 24-25 at North Kitsap Stadium, a team will dedicate the money it raises to Ian and to Carmen Garringer, who is undergoing treatment for extraosseous Ewing’s sarcoma. The team is a loyal group of Facebook followers, Holmes said.

Recently, a dance-a-thon and bake sale at the Poulsbo Sons of Norway Lodge raised $2,050 for Ian.

A "Blizzard Blast" at Dairy Queen in Poulsbo raised $1,564. The restaurant sold 742 Blizzards in a single day, which equaled about one Blizzard per minute, Holmes said.

And a website selling "survival straps" will donate up to 25 percent of purchased products to Ian's fight.

The fundraising will help pay for Ian's treatment. Holmes said Ian is expected to be at Seattle Children's Hospital until October. If that's the case, Ian will have spent more than a year in the hospital.


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