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Galena Community Fundraiser
By Jennifer Penate
GALENA, KS.--- A video posted on Facebook tugged at the heart strings of many people in Galena.
"Just cried. Just the love that he has for his wife, for his children," said Susan Babbitt, fundraiser organizer.
Jacob and Susan Helton are adored in the small town for supporting the city's youngest residents.
"They both work really hard and just don't always have the means to do what they want. And they don't expect anything. They always give it to God that's what they always say, so I feel they really deserve this help," said Sarah Stanley, Helton family friend.
A group of ladies wanted to help the Helton's to realize their dream of a perfect wedding, but knew the family was struggling to make another dream come true. The Helton's eldest of four sons, JJ, will officially become a Marine the week before his parent's 20th anniversary, all the way in San Diego.
"I actually went to the military and went through boot camp, did my training. And when I graduated, out of everything I did there, the most memorable thing was to see my family, my wife there," said Jacob Helton, overwhelmed by generosity.
With a tight budget, Jacob and Sandy were coming to terms with the fact they may not make it.
"I'm the one, that says 'don't worry, we'll figure it out, it's going to be okay.' But deep inside I knew it wouldn't be able to get done, and it was tearing me up," said Jacob.
Little did they know a surprise was coming. Their friends created an online fundraiser to make sure JJ wouldn't be alone on that special day.
"There's really no words. I just feel really blessed," said Sandy Helton, overwhelmed by generosity.
In six days the group has raised $1,100 so the family can drive to California.
"I'm just thankful I live in Galena and thankful to be able to see that everybody does pull together in times when someone needs something," said Stanley.
"That's what gets my heart the most, is that people do care," said Jacob.
The Heltons are now counting down the days until they see their Marine.
"I will be so, there will be a lot of crying I'm sure," said Sandy.
The group has other fundraisers lined up. The first will be this Sunday, a family swim night at the Galena City Pool from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. The entrance fee is $3. A dodge ball tournament has been organized for September 11th. For more details, click here.