WEBSTER COUNTY, Ky. (3/27/13) - Coal mining has been providing a way of life for Webster County residents for over a century. Saturday the industry, and many of its employees, provided a lot of help in another way.
Approximately 160 miners from Alliance Coal, LLC’s Illinois Basin operations (which includes Dotiki and Sebree Mining, LLC in Webster County) participated in an intercompany basketball tournament on Saturday, March 23 at Webster County High School. This charity event raised over $43,000 for Nathan Thomas to assist his family with medical expenses as he battles a rare form of brain tumor.
“All of us who work at Alliance mines and operations appreciate the fact that we are able to give back to those who are in need. This year, we wanted to make a difference to a family and chose Nathan Thomas for our charity event” stated Chris Gunn, Safety Director and event organizer.
Thomas was diagnosed with Desmoplastic Infantile Ganglioglioma (DIG) in 2011, when he was just 3 years old. DIG is a very rare form of tumor, with only about 100 documented cases of DIG. Nathan and his mother travel monthly to Duke Medical Center in Durham, NC and weekly to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, TN where he receives his treatments.
“Webster County is happy to be the host site for this year’s Alliance Coal basketball tournament” stated Matt Bell, Assistant principal and Athletic Director of Webster County High School, “Booster clubs and coaches and members of our basketball team have an opportunity to raise much needed funds for their activities”.
Each player contributed $25 to the Nathan Thomas Benefit Fund and many other miners donated money as well, all of which is matched by the Alliance Corporation.
Alliance has had similar fund raising event for families in the surrounding counties over the last few years.
A little over a year ago Nathan’s father, Mike Thomas, lost his own battle with bladder cancer. Father and son were receiving cancer treatments at the same time.
For a while Nathan and his mother, Beth Wood Lockhart, moved to North Carolina to be closer to the treatment center at Duke, but they have returned to Providence so that family members can help with their needs.
Anyone interested can make donations to the Nathan Thomas Benefit Fund at Independence Bank.
J-E News Editor
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