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Mt. Pleasant fundraiser to aid Bridgeville leukemia victim, family

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Sydney Hawk, 3, of Bridgeville, dressed for her first dance class September 2012. The active toddler was diagnosed with leukemia the beginning of March 2013.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013, 7:13 p.m.
 

When Sydney Hawk, 3, of Bridgeville was diagnosed with leukemia, friends of the toddler's family knew they had to do something to help out.

More than 20 friends and family members are hosting a spaghetti dinner benefit on Saturday to help with the enormous expense the Hawk family is enduring. The event will be held from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at the Mt. Pleasant Banquet Hall, 622 Smithfield St., Mt. Pleasant.

“If it was your child you would want to spend as much time with them as possible and with that comes being off work. We just knew the financial burden this would put on the family,” said Dee Graft of Scottdale, one of the main organizers of the event. “We want her to get better and we want them to have the financial means for her to get better.”

Sydney Hawk is the daughter of Joe Hawk IV and Karin Hawk of Bridgeville and the granddaughter of Joe Hawk III and Marty Hawk of Scottdale.

Graft said several local residents remember Joe Hawk IV, as being highly involved in the Scottdale Soccer Club for many years as a volunteer coach, and grandfather Joe Hawk III is a retired sixth-grade history teacher who taught at Southmoreland Elementary School for more than 35 years.

“The support and love and encouragement and prayers have just been awesome, unbelievable and humbling,” Marty Hawk said.

The girl's father said the toddler was diagnosed with leukemia on March 5 after not responding to treatment for a sinus and ear infection. After being diagnosed, she began treatment. But after only two chemotherapy treatments, she developed a severe infection on March 18 which caused her to spend 42 days in the ICU at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

The toddler is still in the hospital being treated for the infection. Her father said that while her leukemia is in remission, she will undergo a 2½- to 3-year protocol of preventative chemotherapy treatment.

“We have been getting support from my wife's co-workers, our family, friends and even complete strangers. It's overwhelming the support we have been given and it's just unbelievable for us to comprehend,” he said.

Tickets for the event are $8 for adults and $5 for ages 12 and younger. Dinner will include: Spaghetti, meatballs, salad, bread and butter, dessert and beverage.

There will be a 50/50 drawing and a Chinese auction with various gift baskets.

Tickets for the event are being sold at the following Scottdale locations: Court Yard Pizzeria, Scottdale Bank & Trust Co., Brilhart Ace Hardware, Fox's Pizza Den and JJ's Pizza. Tickets can also be purchased at Alexander's Pizza, JJ's Pizza and Roots Hair & Nail Salon in Mt. Pleasant or by calling 724-887-4765.

For those who are unable to attend and would like make a cash donation to the family, donations are being accepted at Court Yard Pizzeria in Scottdale.

Linda Harkcom is a freelance writer.

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