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Community gathers to support Aaron Richard who's battling sinus cancer
NEDERLAND- by Haley Bull
Many people may know Aaron Richard, a familiar face in the Nederland community. The 35-year old is battling sinus cancer. Saturday, family, friends and Southeast Texas community members gathered for an all day benefit to help Richard and his family.
"We call him Big A Big R because of his big heart," one volunteer said.
More than one hundred volunteers and countless customers went to the first part of the benefit at Nederland Hardware.
"Always there for you, anytime you need, you don't even have to ask he's there for you. So we just kind of wanted to be here for him today," James Yeazey, a volunteer, said.
"This is just a small thing that we do here hopefully it takes the disease out of their mind if it's not but for 30 minutes," event organizer Emmett Hollier said. "That's 30 minutes they had a little joy in their life here lately."
Volunteers sold baked goods, links and collected donations for the Nederland native.
"Aaron was one of these kids that if you went to Nederland High School you knew Aaron. I don't care how long of a span ago, it was 20 years ago, you knew Aaron because he was just that kind of kid. He's always around town," Hollier said.
Hollier said Richard volunteered at benefits like the one put on for him.
"Just always helping out and smiling and keeping everybody laughing," Catherine Bihm, another volunteer, said of Richard.
Volunteers wore t-shirts with a bull-dog mascot on them for one of Richard's favorite teams.
"He's a Bulldog fan. I mean he was a guy that was at every game hanging out," volunteer Kirk Gillespie said. "He's a really nice guy, I mean I love Aaron."
It's clear many people in the community do too. The links sold out by 12:30 p.m.
"This community of Southeast Texas, I can't say enough. It brings tears to your eyes just the out pour," Hollier said.
It was an outpouring of love and support for Richard and his family.
"Please, thank y'all for helping my brother, for this benefit, this event, my whole family and everything else. That's one thing I'd like to say from the bottom of my heart," Richard's brother, Lonny Richard, said.
The benefit continued at KC Hall in Nederland with a silent and live auction, chicken dinners and entertainment.