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Colton’s Heroes Benefits This Saturday

The community is showing that not all heroes wear cape as they pull together this Saturday to help Colton Burkey, a local teen who was diagnosed with Stage 4 Melanoma.

   Family and friends are organizing a ride and subsequent spaghetti benefit with other moneymaking activities to help defray costs for medical expenses.  Colton, the son of Jay and Barb Burkey of Steubenville, is a senior at Edison High School who only recently learned of his illness. Family friend Dominic Merritt said fundraising efforts quickly began after he first heard of Colton’s diagnosis.

   “I talked to Colton’s dad and he told me the story. I said, ‘Let’s do a benefit,’” Merritt recalled. “They didn’t expect this to happen the way it happened.”

   He and others have formed Colton’s Heroes in honor of the teen’s love of superheroes and began planning the themed events for this weekend.

   It all begins with the “Smash Cancer Send Off” motorcycle ride at 9 a.m. at the high school, which is located at 9890 Ohio 152 in Richmond. It is by donation only and the ride takes off at 9:30 a.m. sharp, while members are encouraged to don their best superhero gear and bring air horns, signs, cowbells and noisemakers to rally for the young man. The bikes will be on the road until approximately 1 p.m. and the run ends at the subsequent benefit, where parking will be available. Merritt said Colton may also make an appearance for the occasion.

   “He’s into superheroes and his family’s into bikes,” he added, saying they inspired the activity that was planned by Angie Fox and Donna Simpson, who are also mothers of EHS students. “We grew up together and became a family, and that’s why we put it together.”

   The spaghetti dinner and benefit get underway from noon to 6 p.m. at the Knoxville Volunteer Fire Department, located at 15447 State Route 152, Toronto, and will include a meal for $10 per person, 50-50, raffles, a money wheel, Chinese auction and a cornhole tournament. About 30 gift cards and a number of baskets have also been donated for the event while signups for the tournament are from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. The tournament begins at 2 p.m. at a cost is $40 per team with a cash prize to be awarded for first- and second-place winners. The event is B.Y.O.B. and Colton’s Heroes T-shirts, sweatshirts and drink koozies will be available.

  Meanwhile, donors may also contribute to the @ColtonsHeroes24 PayPal account in care of Beth Zook to assist him and his family.   For more information about the benefit, contact Merritt at (740) 219-3100 or Hailey Cline at (740) 275-6921 or go to the Colton’s Heroes Benefit Facebook page. Information about the ride are also available by contacting Angie Fox at (304) 218-3225, Sheila Holcomb at (740) 632-0905 or MaryBeth Zook at (740) 317-7193 or emailing

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