September 2, 2014

AuGres community gathering to support family in need

By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
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AuGRES — The friends of Antoine and Jackie Fair are stepping up to support a family that is in need.

A benefit dinner will be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall in AuGres on Tuesday, June 28 for the couple’s newborn son, Jayden Fair, who is in need of special care. According to Jackie Fair, the family is facing a challenging financial situation because of training that Antoine Fair has to complete in Virginia for the National Guard.

“Antoine had worked at (Standish Maximum Correctional Facility) before it closed and has continued to work in St. Louis,” she said. “He is also a member of the National Guard and is currently receiving training for a three month period in Virginia.”

Because Antoine’s training is considered schooling and he is not in combat and because he is not working for the prison, Jackie said the family will no longer have insurance coverage as of July 11 and will not have it back until October.

“We don’t have many options,” she said, adding that there are other types of coverage that are too expensive for the family to afford. “We have looked into Cobra, which is something every employer has to provide, but it costs $1,100 a month. We can’t afford that.”

Since Jayden’s birth May 13, Jackie said that she has taken five trips, including one for surgery, to the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor to get Jayden the care he needs.

“I want to let people know that, at this time, Jayden’s illnesses are not life-threatening,” she said. “For the most part, he is a normal newborn.”

Family friend Misty Harmon, who is organizing the benefit dinner, said once Jackie told her about Jayden’s situation, she knew she had to help.

“Jackie and I have been friends for a long time and our sons are best friends,” she said. “I knew that they were going to have expenses and we needed to get them help as soon as possible.”

Jayden is the youngest of the couple’s four children. His siblings are Marcus, 9, Jocelynn, 12 and Nate, 21, who is enlisted in the United States Army and is currently serving in Iraq.

Harmon said those who attend the dinner will give free-will donation and will feature giveaways and a 50-50 drawing.

“This community has really stepped up,” she said. “I have not had to spend a dime of my own money getting this started. Everyone has made donations and have given so much.”

Harmon said a number of different churches have also given their support.

“It does not matter who belongs to what church,” she said. “They told me they did not care, they just wanted to help.”

Jackie said the support from the community has been big for her family.

“We are very lucky to live in the community that we do,” she said. “We have friends who are willing to help and the University of Michigan has been great to us. I have all of the confidence on the world that they will do the best for us.”

Jackie said the local Lions Club and the Central Michigan Health Department are also looking into Jayden’s condition.

Harmon said that the Fair family will continue to have bills and she said the community will continue to be ready and help.

“They will always have expenses,” she said. “This situation came at the worst time possible.”

Jackie said that Antoine will soon be traveling to Fort Hood in Texas before being deployed to the Middle East for one year.

“It’s hard being apart, but Antoine has been in the service for 13 years,” she said. “We are new to this situation and it is what it is.”

Jackie said that Jayden has been doing well.

“He loves bath time,” she said. “He still gets up every two or three hours because he is hungry.”

The benefit dinner will be held from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the K of C Hall, which is located at 263 S. Main Street in AuGres.

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