Mayor Trevor Willis

CAMANCHE — Camanche community members are putting on a benefit later this month for Mayor Trevor Willis.

On June 1, Willis went in for a routine colonoscopy. Willis and his family were later given the news he had cancer. Willis went in for surgery July 20 at Mayo Clinic to remove the cancer. During his recovery, Willis developed a hernia. He was taken back July 26 for an unexpected and emergency surgery to repair the hernia. Willis’ family and friends decided to put together a benefit to help overcome the financial burden of Willis’ emergency surgery and lengthy stay at Mayo Clinic.

A benefit is scheduled for Oct. 24 at Imperial Lanes. Event organizer Brenda Larkey said a meeting was held in mid-August to get a committee started to organize the benefit. She said planning for the event later this month has been full speed ahead since then.

“Let me just make this statement. Trevor is all our friend,” Larkey said. He’s been our friend forever. He just happens to have the title mayor. So the mayor thing doesn’t have anything to do with what we’re doing.”

Larkey admits there is concern about holding the event with COVID-19 going on but said they will take every precaution they can. They will encourage mask use and social distancing. Masks will be available for purchase at the event. They will also have temperature checks available, Larkey said.

“I think there’s plenty of room at the bowling alley to social distance,” Larkey said. “And that was a concern of some of our committee. I think we’re going to be OK. Because we’re also going to put a tent up out there as well. But there’s the bowling alley, there’s the restaurant, there’s the banquet room, there’s the bar, there’s the sand volleyball area and now another tent. So I think we have plenty of room available for the people.“

Larkey said the deadline for donations is set for Oct. 17 but they will accept donations next week. Event organizers will be at the bowling alley every night next week, Larkey said. Larkey lauded the community support in helping with the benefit. She said she has received a donation from a former resident who lives in California.

“Community support has been unbelievable,” Larkey said. “I mean I’ve been getting phone calls and messages from people who don’t even live here anymore.”

The benefit is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 11:30 p.m. Oct. 24. Signup and registration for the bags tournament will be from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The bags tournament will begin at 10 a.m. The basket raffle and the silent auction will open at 10 a.m. There will also be a bakery walk, a cake auction, karaoke, chicken drop bingo, a live auction and multiple 50/50 drawings throughout the day.

Willis has served as the mayor of Camanche since 2016.