Community rallies to support baby Ella

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 July 2016 at 12:00 am

Nearly 200 gift baskets will be raffled off Monday during Lyndonville’s Fourth of July celebration

Brittany Button

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – Brittany Button, one of the organizers of a basket raffle to benefit Ella Suhr and her family, is pictured with the baskets today inside the Lyndonville school. The raffle on Monday is the latest effort by the community to support a young couple and their baby daughter who has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.

“I know as a community how well we can all come together,” Button said. “This is a small community that is very close knit.”

Joe and Meagan Suhr spent this week in Florida, where their daughter Ella had a tumor removed. An MRI showed no more signs of cancer, Meagan posted on Facebook.

Mrs. Suhr is a high school teacher in Batavia and her husband is a social studies teacher in Lyndonville.

They were on vacation in March in St. Petersburg when Ella became sick. They took her to the emergency room. She would be diagnosed with stage four of a rare form of brain cancer.

Joe’s colleagues at Lyndonville donated their sick days so he could take the rest of the school year off to care for his daughter.

Many in the community wore Lyndonville Tiger colors of orange and black with the message “Suhr Strong” to show support for the family and help raise money for medical costs.

The community is putting on a big basket raffle on Monday during Lyndonville’s Fourth of July Celebration. Nearly 200 baskets have donated. They will be on display on the school front lawn from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Jan Heideman wraps one of the gift baskets today. She is among several volunteers helping with the basket raffle on Monday.

“It’s an absolutely phenomenal cause,” she said. “In this small town, people really rally around each other.”

The volunteers said they were all encouraged by the good news shared by the Suhrs this week, that Ella’s tumor was gone.

Abby Button works on the ticket bags for the basket raffle. Her mother, Jen Button, has been one of the lead organizers for the raffle.

Jack Buckner, his wife Janice and the Buckner family also have worked hard on the event.

Abby said people and businesses from all Western New York have donated baskets for the auction. She said it has been emotionally moving to see the donations come in.

“All of Western New York is coming together for our little town,” she said.

There are several items donated by the Buffalo Bills, including this autographed hat by Rex Ryan, the team’s head coach.

Bills star wide receiver Sammy Watkins signed a pair of cleats that will be in the auction. There will also be a helmet signed by quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

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