Car club holds benefit for youngster

November 05, 2002|by ANDREA ROWLAND

Members of a Boonsboro-based car club recently raised nearly $4,000 to help a Keedysville child who has a rare inherited disease that leads to bone marrow failure.

Members of Custom Fantasies Car Club on Oct. 13 held a car show to raise funds for 4-year-old Devin Fales, who suffers from Fanconi anemia, Club President Brad Kefauver said.

"We couldn't think of a better reason to have the show," said Kefauver, 20, of Boonsboro. "We're very happy with the way it turned out."


Despite rainy weather, the event at Boonsboro's Shafer Park netted more than $3,700 to help cover the medical costs associated with Devin's disease, Kefauver said.

Club members donated the event's $10-per-vehicle entry fee and proceeds from a 50/50, dirt bike raffle and door prize tickets. Devin picked the winner "monster" truck, he said.

"I thought it was just great what these guys did. I'm glad they thought of us," said Devin's father, Curt Fales.

He said his medical insurance doesn't cover the costs of treatment for his son's disease, which is an inherited condition characterized by a greatly reduced production of all types of blood cells in the body. Individuals with Fanconi anemia face an increased risk for leukemia and other types of cancer, and many patients die before they reach adulthood, according to the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund Web site.

The Fales family travels to Fairview-University Medical Center in Minnesota so Devin can receive care from a Fanconi anemia specialist at the single largest treatment center for individuals with the disease, Curt Fales said.

"You want to get the best care for your child," he said.

Devin has had about six surgeries to help correct problems related to his disease, but his chances of surviving the illness are slim unless he receives a successful bone marrow transplant, Curt Fales said.

The treatment with the highest success rate involves a bone marrow transplant using blood stem cells from an individual with DNA very similar to Devin's, Fales said.

He and his wife, Crystal, did not qualify as donors so they are trying to conceive a child who will.

Crystal Fales must undergo fertility treatments to produce more than the normal amount of eggs, which will be tested to see if they contain DNA compatible to Devin's, she said. If one or more of the eggs match, Crystal will try to carry them to term.

Crystal Fales - whose sister's death at age 10 was linked to Fanconi anemia - has undergone one unsuccessful fertility procedure, each of which costs $15,000, she said.

Community businesses, individuals and civic organizations contributed cash and merchandise for door prizes and sponsoring awards, Kefauver said.

Boonsboro's Park Board let the club use Shafer Park at no charge, and Sounds of the Night disc jockey service from Waynesboro, Pa., provided free entertainment, said Kellie Sgaggero, car club secretary.

Kefauver's grandfather, Don Shumaker, got involved through his work as president of the Boonsboro Volunteer Fire Department. The department, for which Curt Fales serves as vice president, donated proceeds from food and drink sales at the car show, Shumaker said.

The fire department also held three basket bingo events, raising about $33,000 for Devin's medical expenses, Shumaker said.

"Devin is a top priority for us," he said. "I sure hope he outlives me. He done stole my heart."

Devin's grandfather, Neil Fales, praised the work of the 17- to 20-year-old car club members who organized and ran the show. "These boys and girls are the nicest, most well-mannered bunch I've met," Fales said.

Kefauver founded the club in 2001 to bring together friends who share a love of customizing automobiles. The Club, which has 15 members, meets once a month and travels to car shows along the East Coast, he said.

"We're more of a social club, but we know when it's time to get down to business," Kefauver said. "We're already planning the 2nd Annual Devin Fales Benefit Car Show for next year."

Those wishing to contribute may make checks payable to the Devin Fales Benefit Fund and mail to Don Shumaker at the Boonsboro Volunteer Fire Dept., 5 St. Paul St., Boonsboro, MD 21713.

Those who donated

The following donated merchandise and cash prizes to benefit Custom Fantasies Car Club's recent fund-raiser for Devin Fales:

  • Pro Team Body Shop.

  • American Accessories.

  • Advance Autobody.

  • Advanced Auto Parts.

  • USA Cartage, Inc.

  • Toby and Tanya Jordan.

  • Hagerstown Moped.

  • Scott's Speed Shop.

  • Stouffer's Performance.

  • Hub City Sports.

  • Boonsboro Auto Parts.

  • Crawford's Confectionery.

  • Custom Fantasies Car Club.

  • Frank Moran & Sons Inc.

  • Auto Zone.

  • Rapid Lube.

  • Duncan Bros. Tire Company.

  • Midas Auto Service Experts.

  • GS Images.

  • Monro Muffler Brake.

  • Grease Monkey.

  • Terry's Auto Center.

  • Asaro's Pizza and Sub Shop.

  • Accelerated Accessories.
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