In spite of soaring temps under the London Bridge Saturday, the event to raise money to send Ciera Norona and her family to Disneyland was a huge success. Braving the intense heat, about 100 people, including volunteers, toiled from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. to make Ciera’s dream come true.
Ciera Norona contracted Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia when she was just 18 months old. She is now 3 ½, and she and her parents Nikki and Marcos, and twin sister Sophia, have to travel to Las Vegas regularly for chemotherapy.
Burgers By the Bridge, D’Uva Plumbing, and Lake Havasu Social Group planned the Saturday event, hoping to raise $5,000 to send the family to Disneyland. But that goal was exceeded by a small but devoted group of participants. A total of more than $6,000 was raised at the event.
The event began with a meet and greet at 4 p.m., followed by the presentation of Colors at 5:30 p.m. by the Lake Havasu Marine Corps League Detachment 757. The auction of 20 bachelors and bachelorettes began at 6 p.m. The crowd was wowed by the parade of men and women vying for the most bids for a “Dream Date” to help Ciera’s family. One bachelor, dressed as a stripper with black bowtie and white cuffs, entertained the cheering crowd with a striptease.
More than 100 businesses and individuals had donated items for a raffle and auction after the Dream Date auction. Professional auctioneer Ray Fenter kept the crowd engaged and spending their money.
IM Direct Marketing, owned by Shawnah Sheehy, is covering the cost of the Narona family’s accommodations at Disneyland. Enterprise donated a car for the family to drive to Disneyland and to use for a year afterward to drive to Las Vegas for Ciera’s chemotherapy treatments.
The event volunteers call themselves “Ciera’s Warriors.” Explaining on Saturday how the event came about, volunteer Lorinda Moore of Havasu Social said, “It started with just a donation jar (set out by owner Harriet Mclearen at Burgers By the Bridge).” And volunteer Geneva Gallagher added, “Then, like a seed planted and watered with love and care by so many volunteers and businesses in our city, we gather here today to make a Big Dream for a Little Warrior come true.”
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