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Benefit event for burn victims scheduled
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Effingham County residents have banded together and are making plans for benefit events to help the Effingham-based workers injured in the Feb. 7 Imperial Sugar refinery explosion.

“This is for everybody in Effingham County who is affected,” said Melissa Reagan, one of the organizers.
The event will take place March 8 at Kelly’s Tavern in Springfield. A Boston butt sale will be held from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

“We hope to have most of them pre-sold,” Reagan said.

Kelly’s will be serving a limited menu that day, with 50 percent of its sales going toward the benefit fund that is being established at Citizens Bank. All of Kelly’s proceeds from food sales outside that day will be donated to the relief fund.

The event planning began when five couples — Walter and Patty Keith, the owners of Kelly’s, Janis and Nicky Bevill, Gerry and Melissa Reagan, Kevin and Julie Rahn and Julie and Charlie Gnann — got together moments after the refinery blast. The Reagans were at the Rahns’ house when it happened, and the Rahns are good friends of Paul Seckinger’s family.

“It was instant for all of us — ‘what can we do?’” Reagan said.

Planners also hope to have entertainment that day and there also will be a raffle. Anybody who wishes to donate items for the raffle or help with the benefit event can call Reagan at 704-7651.