As the 7th Annual “Remembering Rhoades” benefit, planned for May 8, draws near, Cathy Rhoades, Dennis Rhoades’ survivor, shared how something so very simple grew into a yearly philanthropy event for her and Rush County community members!
Cathy stated, “It all started with a pair of slippers.” She went on to share that during one of her many hospital stays with her husband Dennis, who was battling Melanoma, she was in the gift shop looking to purchase a pair of slippers. She purchased the slippers and went to visit another patient there at the hospital. While talking to the patient, she was complimented on the slippers. She told the woman that she had recently purchased them downstairs in the gift shop. After the price of the slippers was asked, Cathy shared that they were only $12. The patient sadly shared that she couldn’t afford them with their mounting medical bills.
“Right then, I knew no matter the outcome, we were going to help people someway, somehow,” Cathy shared. The Rhoades were blessed with great health insurance and could not imagine the struggle others might be going through. “I could not wrap my head around having to fight for your life and also having to worry about how you are going to pay for it, not to mention all other living expenses,” Cathy stated.
Sadly, Dennis lost his seven-year battle with Melanoma in 2013. Remembering the struggle others might be going through, Cathy wanted to help, as well as honor the memory of her husband. The “Remembering Rhoades” benefit was then organized. Each year a recipient is chosen to recognize individually, as well as Rush Memorial Hospital’s Sheehan Cancer Center patients who are receiving treatment.
This year’s “Remembering Rhoades”benefit recipient is Mr. Bill Edrington. Born in Batesville in 1952, Edrington spent his elementary school years at the Fairfield Elementary School, a three-room building at the bottom of the Brookville Reservoir. Years later, at age 18, he moved to Rushville. A year later, in 1971, Edrington married the love of his life, Christine (Smith). In 1974, the couple welcomed their first child, Cindy and then their second, Sam, in 1977.
While working at Philco Ford in Connersville, he lost his left hand in an accident in 1973. Edrington, working during the day, went to school at night at ITT Technical Institute, where he studied electrical technology and graduated at the top of his class!
During his 18 years working at Delta Faucet in Greensburg, Edrington only missed one day of work. He left Delta and went to Hitachi in Greensburg, where he worked for 15 years and never missed one day of work! Edrington retired from Hitachi in April of 2019.
Seven months after he retired, on his wife’s birthday, on November 12, 2019, Edrington was diagnosed with Stage 4 Esophageal Cancer.
Edrington loves to spend time with his wife, two children, Cindy (Jett) and Sam, his daughter-in-law, Carly. He also cherishes his four grandchildren; Kait and Alli Jett and Eli and Ried Edrington and is excitedly awaiting the arrival of a new great-granddaughter! In addition to spending times with his family, he is a diehard Cleveland Browns and Indiana Hoosier fan and enjoys camping and reading. Edrington is honored to have been chosen as the 2021 benefit recipient and is looking forward to the event. A portion of this year’s proceeds will be presented to Edrington, after the benefit.
This year’s “Remembering Rhoades” benefit will be held at the Rushville Elk’s Lodge, beginning at 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 8th! A two -piece chicken dinner will be served there from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for only $10.95.
At 7:30 p.m., auctioneer Rusty Harmeyer will auction many donated items in which all proceeds benefit those community members in need. Following the auction, at 9 p.m., the Billy Brown Band will perform, also at the Elk’s. All events are open to the public and Cathy welcomes everyone that would like to come!
“I would like to thank Rush County for your support over the past seven years,’she shared. “I am proud of our hometown and how we come together to support each other and those that are in a time of need.”
To donate items for the auction, give any monetary contribution for the benefit, or volunteer your help, please contact Cathy at 765-570-3656 or Jon Lykins at 765-561-5261.