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Dinner, fund-raiser for Wright family March 12 at Unity

A charity auction and spaghetti dinner to benefit and honor Sydney Wright’s family will be held Friday evening, March 12, starting at 5 at Unity Chapel United Methodist Church on Lost Creek Road south of Ramsey.
Sydney, 10, died unexpectedly on Dec. 28 from acute liver failure at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. She had been taken by air ambulance on Christmas Eve from Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, where she had been treated for six days before her immune system suddenly stopped functioning.
The child was kept on life support for 12 hours so she could be an organ donor. Three other people, a seven-year-old girl, who received Sydney’s heart, and two middle-aged persons who received her kidneys (one of them also got her pancreas), now have the gift of life, thanks to Sydney and her parents, Matt and Maggie Wright of New Salisbury. A fourth person received a cornea. All are reportedly doing well, and the Wright family may get to meet the recipients within a year’s time through an organization called The Gift of Hope.
The family, which moved to Harrison County just a few years ago, is active at New Salisbury United Methodist Church. Matt is a liturgist, leads the Praise Team and sings in the choir. Maggie helps Jamie Longacre with Vacation Bible School. Sydney’s brother, William, 14, runs the audio equipment during the church services.
Sydney herself ran the PowerPoint projector from a laptop computer during worship service.
‘The Wright family has suffered a terrible loss, and now faces the reality of the staggering medical bills that they must pay. Our own church has helped as much as possible, but the medical expenses incurred during Syndey’s illness were quite high. They have also had funeral expenses,’ said Longacre, who has organized the dinner, which begins at 5 p.m., and the auction, which will start around 7:30. The cost of the dinner (including home-made dessert) is a free-will offering.
‘I am asking all the area churches for some help,’ Longacre said. ‘This community is extremely giving and caring, I know, as I have lived here almost my entire life. Time and again, I am so blessed by the genuine caring nature of its people. We all need to embrace this family as a community to help them heal, not only emotionally, but also financially.’
Unity Chapel donated the use of its new family life center for the event.
Longacre is asking each church to put together a themed ‘Basket of Love’ for the auction. ‘For those of you familiar with the Morgan Elementary Fall Festival, these baskets would be similar to the baskets that they have for their auction.’
She’s also encouraging businesses to make similar donations for the auction. For more information and to make gift confirmations, call Longacre at 347-0163.
Monetary donations can be sent to the Wright Family at Central Barren United Methodist Church, 11170 S.R. 135, New Salisbury, IN 47161.
Matt Wright works at General Mills/Pillsbury in New Albany. Maggie Wright is a nurse at Todd-Dickey Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Leavenworth. Maggie’s family members are seeing that Baskets of Love come from California, Washington state and West Virginia.
‘This is an opportunity for the whole community to heal,’ Longacre said. ‘This haunts you as a parent. You ask, What can I do? This has given so many people a chance to contribute.’

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