April Adamo said she wasn’t expecting anything like this.
On Tuesday, Culver’s in Oswego and Lakewood Creek Elementary School teamed up to host a benefit for Adamo’s 6-year-old son, Isaac Parris. Last June, Isaac was diagnosed with a common form of brain cancer, and since then, he’s gone through surgery, radiation treatments and three rounds of chemotherapy, with more on the way.
Hence Tuesday’s benefit, organized to help pay the family’s medical bills. Culver’s agreed to donate 10 percent of Tuesday’s proceeds to Isaac and his family. But no one expected the turnout – hundreds upon hundreds of people made their way to the restaurant during the evening hours, all there to lend a hand.
Lines of people stretched out the door and into the parking lot, which was jammed full of cars. Some people parked halfway across Mason Square and walked. The drive-through lanes were full of people waiting to order. And inside, every table and chair was taken.
In the end, Culver’s collected $2,638 for Isaac and his family, according to Kelli Glatt, Isaac's first-grade teacher at Lakewood Creek. The restaurant took in more than $7,000 between the hours of 4 and 8 p.m., she said.
The outpouring of community support surprised and delighted Adamo.
“It’s amazing and overwhelming,” she said. “The things people go through for a little boy some of them they don’t even know.”
Isaac himself arrived shortly after 3:30 p.m., and as the restaurant filled up, he was constantly surrounded by people hugging him and wishing him well. He took it in stride, smiling and laughing.
Glatt helped organize the benefit. She arranged for fifth-grade students to help serve food, and for teachers from the school to volunteer their time as well. She said she never expected to see such a turnout.
“I never thought I would walk outside and see this many people (waiting to get in),” she said.
Isaac is in his fourth round of chemotherapy, his mother said, and with the family’s insurance policy about to renew, they will have to pay their full deductible amount again for his treatments. The money raised on Tuesday, she said, will be a big help.
As they all looked around Culver’s with wide eyes Tuesday night, it may have been Adamo’s boyfriend Pat Schippers who put it best.
“People are amazing,” he said.
For more on Isaac Parris, read this story.