Thayer Van Fund


Bethalto Knights raise money for handicapped youth


By Scott Cousins - For the Telegraph

BETHALTO — A monthly chicken dinner normally held to raise money for the Bethalto Knights of Columbus scholarship fund included a second charity Sunday – a fund set up to purchase a handicapped-accessible van for a local youth.

Organizers of the meal, held at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, hoped to raise up to $1,000 for the Thayer Van Fund, and are considering additional fundraisers or donations for the project. Final figures from Sunday’s fundraiser were unavailable.

Nathanial Thayer was born with multiple disabilities and is confined to a wheelchair. His father, Francis Thayer, recently died in an automobile accident, and the family needs a handicapped-accessible van. The van fund is organized through Cornerstone Assembly Church in Bethalto.

“They came to use with a need,” Marce Tebbe, a past grand knight of the local Knights of Columbus chapter, said of the van fund organizers. “It was brought to our attention last month.”

Tebbe said the dinner is normally held the third Sunday of each month with proceeds benefiting the school’s scholarship program. Usually the dinner will draw about 200 people, but the location was changed because of scheduling conflicts at the school.

“Normally we have it in the gym, where we have handicapped accessibility, but because of basketball tournaments we had to shift it down to the church basement,” he said. “School events take precedence in the school gym. It is an irony that this isn’t handicapped accessible.”

For more information or to make a contribution to the Thayer Van Fund, contact Cornerstone Assembly Church, 196 S. Moreland Rd., Bethalto, IL. 62010.