The Methow Valley Horsemen and the Methow Valley Cascaders 4-H Club had a relatively simple plan: Hold a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the family of Aaron Hammer, the professional rodeo rider and Twisp native who remains hospitalized after a serious injury he suffered in September.
But something wonderful happened on the way to cooking all that spaghetti. Community members approached the organizers with donations.
Devin Barnhart offered a haircut. Jim Wright donated two loads of gravel. Caroline Edson provided two photographs of horses, and Marva Mountjoy donated a “nice quilt,” said Susie Gardner of the Methow Valley Horsemen.
The spaghetti dinner, held Oct. 6 at the Methow Eagles club, drew 300 guests, so at $8 a plate it might have raised a few thousand dollars. Instead, the event included silent and live auctions and raised more than $13,500, Gardner said.
The quilt alone went for more than $400.
“This valley just comes together for their neighbors,” Gardner said. “It just brought us to tears when we counted the money.”
Hammer’s recovery has been slow, said his sister, Katie Desjardins, on Monday (Oct. 14). He was trampled by the horse he was riding Sept. 7 at the Sumas Bull-a-Rama.
“Each day brings baby steps in the right direction,” Desjardins said.
“The family is so grateful to the people of the valley, the rodeo community, and friends and family near and far for their awesome support through this difficult time,” she said.
Hammer remains in intensive care at the University of Washington Medical Center. After battling infections, “he is back at the top of the transplant list,” awaiting a new liver, Desjardins said.
A GoFundMe fundraiser for Hammer’s wife Cheyenne, and children Pistol and Rhyder, had raised an additional $19,052 as of Tuesday. To make donation, go to GoFundMe.com and search for “Aaron Hammer & Family Fund.”