The Woodward News

Local News

May 27, 2014

Benefit scheduled to help Vanderslice family

FARGO - In this small Northwest Oklahoma town, neighbors are coming together to help one of their own.

After learning that their neighbor Norman Vanderslice was badly burned in a wildfire near Woodward on May 6, the Hallmark family immediately began planning a benefit to help Vanderslice and his family.

The inspiration for the benefit came from 19-year-old Ryan Hallmark, who attended school with Vanderslice's son.  His parents Tina and Bill Hallmark have been helping him organize the event.

"When I found out what happened to him, I felt like we had to do something because Norman was always the first one to help out whenever anyone else was in trouble," Ryan Hallmark said.

As an example of how Vanderslice helped out other's in his community, Hallmark said, "when the tornado hit a couple years ago and the people on Tangier Road lost their house, Norman was one of the first ones out there helping them."

Set for June 1, the Vanderslice benefit event will include a corn hole tournament, horseshoe tournament, auction, 50/50 raffle, and a concert by the Bo Phillips Band.

Registration for the tournaments will begin at 4 p.m. with games starting at 4:30 p.m.  Hamburger and hot dog plates will be sold from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  Then the band will take the stage at 7 p.m.

It will be an outdoor event held at Gander's located half a mile south of Fargo on N/S 190, which is also Fargo's Main Street.  Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.

Ryan Hallmark said proceeds from the concert, game tournaments, auction and raffle "is all going into an account for the family to use for whatever they need it for."

"It's not just for medical bills because there's a lot of other things that they're going to have to pay for while he's out," Hallmark said.

He said the family still needs to be able to pay their bills and other expenses while Vanderslice remains hospitalized in Oklahoma City receiving treatment for severe burns over much of his body.

"It's going to be a long road ahead for him," Hallmark said, noting that even after recovering from the burns, Vanderslice will likely face lengthy rehabilitation.

Knowing how much the Vanderslice family will have to go through, he said, "this little fundraiser we're putting on may not do much, but it's what we can do right now and they're going to need all the help they can get."

For more information about the Vanderslice benefit or how you can help, contact Ryan Hallmark at (580) 273-0422.

The Hallmark family is still accepting items for the auction as well as monetary donations for the Norman Vanderslice benefit fund.

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