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Atwood Community Rallies Around Bobbi Parsley and Family

Bobbi Renshaw Parsley with gift basket given to her by the United Church of Atwood.

By Doris Elmore
Staff Writer

“It takes a village,” is a statement you hear many times when family, friends, neighbors and townspeople band together to help a family in need. That is what happened on Saturday, September 10, when Bobbi Renshaw Parsley of Atwood was the recipient of funds from “A Heart for Bobbi” benefit spaghetti dinner with all the trimmings. Desserts were provided by members of the United Church of Atwood Women’s Fellowship, along with other friends and family.

Bobbi was unable to attend the benefit, but her husband Joe and daughter Hannah Swarms and other family members represented Bobbi. Bobbi has struggled with Dilated Cardiomyopathy with congestive heart failure. Even though she wasn’t a smoker, she has the heart problem and is in great need of a heart transplant.

Overwhelmed with the response to the benefit, Bobbi stated, “You have truly touched our hearts with your love, friendship, offers of help and assistance, and the generous support you showed at the benefit held in aid of our family. It was a wonderful occasion and showed us clearly how great a community we live in. I have been overwhelmed by the love and generosity of so many, I cannot express my appreciation enough to you all. God Bless You!”

The multiple auction items were hot items right up to the end of the auction. If you have never participated in a silent auction, you find it is a lot of fun. It is one person trying to outbid the other. Valerie Reynolds Griffin, benefit organizer, did an outstanding job of having things donated for the event, including over 90 silent auction items. She was assisted by Hannah Swarms.

It certainly does take a village to have a benefit and it included several members of the United Church of Atwood plus others who willingly donated to help Bobbi and family. You don’t have to know someone to be there for them, it is what people do to help others. It is through their generosity and kindness that makes a good village. This is how Bobbi and Joe feel about their town, Village of Atwood. Bobbi is the daughter of Sue Pepple of Atwood.

People who donated food for the benefit included the following: Rick’s Country Market, Villa Grove; Joe’s Pizza, Tuscola; IGA, Arthur & Tuscola; Texas Roadhouse, Champaign; United Church of Atwood; First State Bank of Atwood; Marks My Store, Mattoon; Country Company Insurance, Tuscola (Todd Edmundson); Ta ‘Carbon, Tuscola; Monicals, Villa Grove and Tuscola; Pauly’s BBQ, Arthur; Yoder’s Kitchen; Modern Nails; Champaign; Korner Beehive, Mattoon; Starbucks, Mattoon & Champaign; A Bloom Above and Beyond, Tuscola; Dollar General, Tuscola; Mi Veracruz, Tuscola; Mattoon Airport; Record Herald Newspaper; Kelsey’s Furniture, Tuscola; Flessors, Tuscola; Subway, Tuscola; Sue Radloff, Charleston; Ace Hardware, Champaign; Phoenix (Savoy 16); Appleby’s, Champaign; EmBarrass, Villa Grove; Jimmy Johns, Tuscola; Kent Brown, Urbana; Subway, Arthur; Iron Horse Golf Course, Tuscola; Dobson’s, Bement; Buffalo Wild Wings, Champaign; Kaskaskia Country Club, Arcola.
Also, Bi’aggis, Champaign; Culvers, Champaign; Country Arbors, Urbana; Route 45 Wayside, Pesotum; AJ’s Screen Printing, Arthur; Doris & Roy Elmore, Kathy Terril; Patti Norfleet, Mary Ellen Harris, John & Becky Schable, all United Church; Jan Griffin; Thomas Montgomery; Michael Griffin; Karissa Yu; Barb Witte; Valerie Griffin; Kauffman’s Amish Furniture, Arcola; Arthur Flower Shop; Linda Traub; Amiens Meeks; Melanie Jent; Lisa Jay; Amy Rumsey; Lisa Badger Harvey; Pepsi, Decatur.

A big thank you to the ramp crew of Faith in Action of Piatt County who installed a ramp at the Parsley home the day Bobbi came home from Barnes.

Anyone interested in donating to “A Heart for Bobbi” please contact Valerie Griffin-217-433-5463 or Hannah Swarms 217-552-9380. A go fund me page has also been set up by her cousin Lisa Causey Brazzale at with the title: “A Heart for Bobbi.”

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