A strike against disease | SteamboatToday.com

A strike against disease

Bowling fundraiser brings in money for Hayden family

Andy Bockelman

Emmarae Henderson, 6, gives a hug to Logan Morrison, 5, during a fundraiser to help him with his battle with Burkitt's lymphoma Saturday night at Thunder Rolls Bowling Center. The event included a live auction of donated items from across the community supporting Logan's cause.
Shawn McHugh

Logan Morrison, 6, leans against the ball return rack during a fundraiser Saturday night at Thunder Rolls Bowling Center in Craig. The event raised more than $4,000 for the Morrison family, of Hayden, to use to treat Logan's Burkitt's lymphoma.Shawn McHugh

After weeks of hospital visits, 6-year-old Logan Morrison, of Hayden, needed a way to take his mind off his medical situation.

His friends, family and fellow community members came to the call Saturday night, providing him with an environment where all he had to worry about was trying to get a strike.

The community raised more than $4,000 at Saturday's fundraiser for the Morrison family at Thunder Rolls Bowling Center, 990 Industrial Ave.

Logan's parents, Aden and Katresha Morrison, said they were glad to see their son up and about, having fun after being diagnosed with the lymphatic system cancer Burkitt's lymphoma in December.

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Katresha said the idea of a night of bowling, one of Logan's favorite activities, helped raise his spirits.

"When we told him about it, he was so excited," she said.

Recent medical treatments for Logan's ailment have left him in better shape, but she said the chemotherapy can be unpredictable.

"We don't really know how his body will react to it, and there are always ups and downs," she said.

The family's financial situation has been stressful, but Katresha said she was glad to see the turnout at the bowling alley.

"It's just been so super to have everybody here for us," she said.

More than 100 people filled the lanes, a number which Thunder Rolls employee Chris Runyan hadn't seen in the alley.

"We usually have about 80 people, at most," she said.

Runyan first met the Morrisons several years ago while they were bowling.

In promoting the fundraiser, she said she knew local residents would want to help them, but she wasn't expecting quite as big an outcome.

Saturday night amounted to probably the biggest fundraiser Thunder Rolls has ever hosted, she said.

"It's just amazing how this community can come together to support people," Runyan said.

Aside from $2,800 Thunder Rolls had received in donations for the Morrisons in the days leading up to the event, the total from bowling admission came to about $1,000. A 50/50 raffle brought in $412 after winner and family member Steve Morrison donated his half of the jackpot back to the cause.

But the big cash attraction for the night was the auction for materials donated by Craig, Hayden and Steamboat Springs residents and businesses, including Furniture Gallery, Cook Chevrolet and Village Inn, among others. The auction brought in $2,620.

Lynn Murdoch, of Hayden, took home a pair of $25 gift cards to Murdochs.

"We'd do anything to help the little kids in the community," she said. "We're just so glad to be here."

J.J. Pike bid on and won a Tiffany lamp from Masterworks Mechanical. She said she planned to donate money either way because of her own similar experience.

Pike's son, Cory, died of Burkitt's lymphoma in November at the age of 20.

"My heart goes out to their family, and I really hope they have a better resolution with Burkitt's than Cory did," Pike said.

Pike said numerous acquaintances have suggested she meet the Morrisons, an idea which she is open to, but she said she didn't have any "words of wisdom" to give them.

"All I can really say is that some days, everything feels wonderful, and other days, it's horrible," she said.

Pike also said she was surprised that there was another Burkitt's case in the area because, based on reading she has done on the disease, it is one of the rarest types of lymphomas.

"There are so many kinds, and Burkitt's only makes up 2 percent," she said. "We've had about five cases in the (Yampa Valley) lately. It really makes you think. But Logan's got a good chance. He's young, and he's got a good shot."

As adults participated in the auction, Logan enjoyed picking up spares on Lane 1 with the bumpers up.

The 6-year-old said he wanted to thank everyone for coming and for the gift he received — a bowling pin specially painted in the colors of the Denver Broncos, his favorite football team.

"I've had lots of fun tonight," he said.

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