Whitewright is planning an event to benefit sophomore honor student and varsity football player Larry Donaldson.

A barbecue dinner and silent auction will be held Dec. 15 from 5-9 p.m. at Whitewright High School to benefit Donaldson, who became ill with the flu in early November and was placed on life support on Nov. 6 after going into respiratory distress.

Currently in the intensive care unit at Medical City Dallas, Donaldson continues to be dependent on breathing, heart, lung and dialysis machines. He is awake and alert during intervals of time and is able to respond to questions by squeezing his hand or nodding his head.

Larry Donaldson’s mother Kristi Donaldson is an elementary school teacher for Whitewright Independent School District. Kristi Donaldson said she is continuing to pray and gives God all the glory and credit for sustaining her son throughout this difficult experience.

“If this event causes one more person to pray for Larry or causes one more person to be drawn to Jesus Christ, then it is worth it,” Kristi Donaldson said. “God will take care of anything else we need.”

Rebekah Card, whose daughter has been coached in volleyball by Kristi Donaldson, is helping organize the benefit. Card explained difficult situations like this one cause people to reflect.

“It causes people to think that could be my son or grandson in that bed,” Card said. “It resurrects all different kinds of feelings. People are mobilized. They want to do something. It brings about so much emotion. Larry has become a symbol of God’s miraculous sustaining power. We look forward to hearing him share his story of God’s healing power in time to come.”

Due to Larry Donaldson’s extensive medical equipment needs, he occupies two ICU rooms, adding additional expense. He also requires two nurses at all times. Funds raised from the dinner and silent auction will go toward hospital expenses and any other financial needs the family may have during this time.

The barbecue dinner will include brisket, green beans, pinto beans, coleslaw, homemade rolls and dessert. The donation is a minimum $10 per plate.

Bidding for the silent auction will begin at 5 p.m. and close at 9 p.m. Items up for auction will include baked goods, wreaths, themed baskets, golf tickets, skydiving, a hunting trip, hunting with falcons, mattress, bedding, restaurant certificates, a certificate to Solar Nails, Tupperware, salsa, a Yeti cooler, home décor and clothing. Guests do not have to be present to win the bid.

For those who do not wish to bid, there will be items available for instant purchase. The prices for these items will be set. Over 100 items have been donated for the auction and for instant purchases so far, with donations still being received.

Accepted payment methods will include cash, checks and credit card payments. All proceeds will be deposited into the Donaldson Donation Fund Account.

For those unable to make it out to the dinner and silent auction, donations can be submitted at https://www.gofundme.com/4p0y0q8 or checks can be mailed to Donaldson Donation c/o Independent Bank – Whitewright at 201 W. Grant St., Whitewright, TX 75491. Checks can be made out to Kristi Donaldson with Donaldson Donation in the memo line.