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  • Fairbury News staff

Benefit planned for Johnson

Harry Johnson II shown following a lung transplant last year / photo provided by family.

A benefit for a local man impacted by a genetic disease is planned for Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Walton Centre in Fairbury.

Harry Johnson II, the son of Harry and Lynette Johnson, was born with Cystic Fibrosis which impacts the lungs and digestive organs. He received new lungs this past September after waiting on the transplant list for four months.

“What you and I can get out when we cough, he cannot,” explained Harry Sr. “He had a lung collapse in September which put him from a 40 percent necessity to over an 80 percent necessity.”

John Gish, who worked with Johnson at Selig’s in Forrest, serves on the benefit committee and is happy to help out since his co-worker and friend can no longer work.

“He ended up having to quit because his health deteriorated,” Gish said.

The benefit will help cover expenses from traveling and the number of medications he is on. Johnson, who was raised in Fairbury, is married to Courtney and they live in Chenoa with their dog, Diesel. Harry Sr. said the two are a good team as Courtney has been his son’s rock throughout the whole ordeal.

“We are just overwhelmed and grateful and thank everybody who has taken so much time with us to do this (benefit),” Harry Sr. stated.

The Feb. 1 benefit features a donation-only pulled pork dinner from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Carry outs will be available. The live auction begins at 6:30 p.m. with weekend getaways, sporting event tickets and handcrafted items. Highlights include signed Cardinals memorabilia and autographed Blackhawks jerseys. Gish joked that Johnson is a Cub fan and his wife a Cardinal fan so they are in a “mixed marriage.”

“We are going to have a couple of half hogs on the auction and we’ll have a tool basket donated by K&S,” said Gish.

A golf cart will be raffled with a drawing at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 or three for $50. There will also be raffles for a TV and 50/50. A bake sale is planned from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Walton Centre side door and bake sale items will also be available upstairs during the dinner. DJ Fozzy will provide music for the evening.

For those wishing to donate, an account has been set up at Bluestem Bank, branch of Bank of Pontiac, under the HJ Benefit Fund. For more information, contact Gish at 815-848-1619 or Janet Hardesty at 815-848-8426.

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