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‘We Are So Thankful’

By Staff | Mar 2, 2016

Photo provided Matt Boggs along with family and friends pose for a quick photo Sunday at a fundraiser at Tyler Consolidated High School. More than 500 people attended the event that was organized by area first reponders including fire and police.

MIDDLEBOURNE – The cafeteria at Tyler Consolidated High School smelled of tomato sauce Sunday during a fundraiser for Matt Boggs.

More than 500 people attended the luncheon organized by Tyler County first responders including fire, police and emergency medical services. Boggs, a longtime Tyler County 911 dispatcher, is battling terminal cancer. The event brought in more than $6,500 for the Boggs family.

“This was a very good thing for the Boggs family,” said Mike Northcraft, an active firefighter for many area departments. “We had a really good response from the community. I think this will definitely help the family out. With him being a dispatcher, he was never seen by the public just heard by the community when someone called into the 911 Center. He really loved his job and looked forward to helping the citizens of Tyler County. This is our way of giving back.”

The meal included homemade spaghetti, garlic bread sticks and more.

“It was excellent food,” said James Underwood of Elk Fork. “I came out to support Matt Boggs and his family. I think anyone who is dealing with an illness like Matt has, if the community comes together and supports them and makes life a little bit easier for them so they can do things they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to do, then it is for a good cause. We’d have done it for anyone, not just Matt but anyone. That’s what makes Tyler County special.”

Many such fundraisers took place last weekend in places near and far that raised thousands of dollars for the Boggs’s family.

“We appreciate anyone who has been a part of the fundraising efforts this weekend and for the past several months,” said Boggs’ sister, Meggan Merritt. “We are very humbled and thankful that people have been so generous and willing to support us, whether it was financially, through prayer or bringing food. All of it has meant the world to us.”

Sistersville Volunteer Fire Department raised more than $2,000 Saturday during a spaghetti fundraiser.

“Matt (Boggs) has been a 911 dispatcher for a long time. It does help out when one of your brothers is hurting,” said Stephen Wayne of the SVFD.

Merritt said a fundraiser organized by the Paden City Youth Basketball League brought in more than $3,800 on Saturday. Fourteen teams competed in a basketball tournament.

“We appreciated everything they did,” she said. “There were so many people and kids involved with the tournament. The sixth grade team that won the championship took all of their green arm bands off and presented them to my brother. Aside from the financial impact, there was a lot of sentiments that people offered him that were very comforting.”

North Central Regional Jail, where Boggs used to work, held a fundraiser that brought in around $500 last Friday. MaKenzie Moss and Amanda Nash organized a bake sale on Saturday at the Middlebourne Volunteer Fire Department which brought in more than $5,300.

A 14-year-old girl in Ritchie County named Alayna Moyer, who attends school with Merritt’s son Logan, made gourmet cupcakes on Sunday as a fundraiser for the Boggs’ family.

“She had a cupcake sale for him (Boggs) and sold around 500 cupcakes,” Merritt said. “She had all sorts of jumbo cupcakes. That was nice.”

Sunday’s event at TCHS was organized by Tyler County 911, Tyler Sheriff’s Office, Sistersville police, Sistersville and Middlebourne EMS, Tyler County Fireman’s Association, Tyler County Office of Emergency Management and volunteer fire departments hailing from Shirley, Middlebourne, Sistersville, Alma.

Merritt said the family is grateful that the whole Tyler County community is coming together to support the Boggs’ family.

“Sometimes it has been hard for us to be on the receiving end because it so overwhelming,” she said. “We are so thankful. There’s so many expenses that have come up that. You don’t anticipate being sick. This has all helped tremendously. It’s been amazing.”