By DAN FOX
Orange out the Night, Elsberry’s annual fundraising event benefiting a local community member, will be held throughout the evening on Dec. 6, during the high school’s first conference basketball game.
This year’s beneficiary is Tiffani Rockwell-Fomera, a lifelong resident of Elsberry who is fighting brain cancer.
Elsberry Media Liaison Kim Jones said Rockwell-Fomera’s parents taught through their entire careers at Elsberry, and both her children are current students.
“[She’s] very connected – church, school, like I said [she] grew up here, everything,” Jones said.
The event is getting a lot of support already, Jones said. Sometimes she needs to hunt down sponsors for the annual event, but this year 36 businesses were standing in line to help out the fundraiser. Elsberry’s FFA will be hosting a chili supper before the basketball game, and around 100 items are up for grabs in a silent auction. Raffles will be taken for a lottery basket (which includes Blues tickets) and a raffle for a handmade quilt. The name for Orange out the Night simply comes from a color twist on a common benefit event held by many sports teams.
“You know how a lot of games will have ‘Pink out the Night’ for breast cancer – well our very first one was for a little boy that had Leukemia, and the Leukemia cancer ribbon is orange,” Jones said, adding the orange color of a basketball helped lock down the name of the fundraising event. In its second year, Orange out the Night benefitted Vernon Brown, an Elsberry businessman who was fighting his own battle with cancer. The Elsberry Democrat reported that the inaugural year of the event raised $4,500, and raised the same amount for Brown.
The third year’s event raised $5,000 for siblings Rylan and Kaylee Long.
This will be the fourth year for Orange out the Night, and Jones is hoping for this to be the biggest iteration yet.
“I really look for this one to be $10,000,” Jones said.
She said the community and county are always good about supporting “one of our own,” adding that kind of support for a lifelong resident of Elsberry is greatly appreciated.