At Ruskin Moose Lodge, community turns out for the sight and sake of a child

Even a tough former U.S. Marine lost his heart to Lily Grace. MITCH TRAPHAGEN PHOTOS

There was an outpouring of support from the greater community for Lily Grace James, a 6-year-old bay area girl with profound vision impairments and the resultant challenges. She was the subject of a feature article in last week’s Observer News. Members of the Ruskin Moose Lodge, where a benefit was held for her on Saturday, reported that many people stopped by the lodge to simply donate towards her significant medical needs. The members of the Sun City Center Lions Club made a generous donation, as did other businesses and organizations.

As for Lily Grace, she enjoyed the party, always with a smile, and responded with glee to the near endless hugs she received from those attending the benefit. In dancing to the live music, she also practiced her gymnastics routines. Although her parents worried about her ability to participate in sports, Lily Grace, with seemingly boundless optimism and determination has, as she said, “reached level 3” in gymnastics at school.

The event’s goal was to raise $15,000. By Saturday evening, $12,000 has been raised with donations still coming in. To donate, send or drop off checks to the attention of Kathleen Tsymbal at the Ruskin Moose Lodge, 1212 E. Shell Point Road, Ruskin, FL 33570.

Lily Grace meets Sun City Center Lion Gloria Rodzielowicz and her seeing eye dog.

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