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Benefit for Mathern Family is a success

May 8, 2013
By MARGARET THOMSEN , Times-Republican

It was a beautiful day on April 28 and Garwin residents, and those from surrounding communities, came in full force to the Garwin Revitalization Benefit for the Eli and Ashley Mathern Family.

Ashley Mathern had a brain tumor removed in January and has been enduring daily radiation treatments in Iowa City. The couple has five children ages six and under.

The committee started serving the breakfast before 8 a.m. At one time the Garwin Community Building was filled to capacity, the park benches and tables were full of those enjoying breakfast and the line was out to the street.

Article Photos

The Garwin Revitalization Committee presented a check from the Mathern Benefit Breakfast to The Eli and Ashley Mathern Family. In addition to the benefit proceeds, the Marshall County Thrivent added a supplemental benefit for $1,000. Pictured are, from left, committee members Judy Konicek and Ron Smith, Ashley Mathern, Treasurer Carol Parks and committee member Anne Barloon.

The success of the benefit would have pleased organizer, Merle Parks, beyond words. However, Parks passed away on April 24 and was laid to rest on the day before the benefit.

Many cards and letters of support were sent for the Mathern family by those unable to attend.

"This is overwhelming - so very generous," Ashley Mathern said.

Anne Barloon, Garwin resident and committee member, said, "But (Ashley) would be right there helping if it were turned around."

Committee members presented a check to Ashley Mathern on April 29. Besides the funds from the benefit, the Marshall County Thrivent Financial for Lutherans supplemented the benefit with an additional $1,000. For more information on the Thrivent group go to

"When I got sick and all this came about, we knew God would provide, we just did not know how. This is amazing. This is very, very sweet. We live in a wonderful town," Ashley Mathern said.



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