Gold tournament works as fundraiser for Hillsboro man

While there are many pros and cons to living in small towns, one thing that small towns in Marion have a history of doing well is showing up and supporting their own.

Saturday was no different. Hillsboro residents and others showed up to support longtime Hillsboro resident Dave Sheppard.

Sheppard was recently diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He found out after he retired from his role as the Special Education Director of the Marion County Interlocal Cooperative this past May.

“I had my retirement party where I ate some cake. I didn’t realize it then, but the sugar blocked my bile duct due to a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t feel well so I went to the doctor. Three days after I retired, I found out I had pancreatic cancer,” said Sheppard.

He began chemotherapy and has been doing it every other week. He and his wife travel to the KU Medical Center where they stay from Monday to Wednesday.

“I do chemo 8 hours on the first day, hook me up to a pump for 48 more hours and then we go back home. It takes me about a week to recuperate and then I do it all again,” said Sheppard.

While many would be bitter about having cancer right after retiring, Sheppard is very positive and upbeat about it all.

“I think I have been pretty positive. My parents were the most positive people I know and they raised me to be the same way,” said Sheppard.

One of the biggest problems that have come up is all of the costs related to having cancer, so one of Sheppard’s friends decided to do something about it. Tyler Ediger put together a golf tournament in Hillsboro on Saturday.

“The biggest reason I wanted to put together this benefit golf tournament was to show Dave and his family how much this community supports them. Not only is Dave a dear friend of myself, he is to this community and it showed. The tournament was a huge success,” said Ediger.

The tournament hosted 33 teams of two golfers per team. They also held a silent auction with 48 baskets. The most popular auction items were the many different golf packages where people could travel to play golf around the state.

There were also two Chiefs signs and an autographed Hill Jersey. A KU sign also attracted many bids. All baskets sold and most for over the estimated value of the baskets.

“A lot of people made homemade stuff and donated it there. I sincerely appreciate all that everyone did for the auction,” said Sheppard. “I appreciate all of it and was amazed at all who came out.

Ediger agreed that it was wildly successful.

“In all of my years playing in tournaments here I have never seen as large of a turnout as I did for Dave. Out of the 33 two-man teams, 24 of them were local community members, and the rest being family/friends of Dave’s. It was great to see many community members show up to bid on silent auction items or just come to show their support in Dave’s fight against cancer,” said Ediger. “I would like to thank all of you who participated in the tournament and those who helped make this a huge success!”

Sheppard and his wife Marla were touched by all that people did.

We would like to thank the community, our friends, family and especially Tyler Ediger for hosting this golf tournament fundraiser. The support has shown us why we have grown to love this community so much. Our many friends have become our extended family. Dave enjoyed the fellowship on Saturday and loved spending time with his friends in his favorite pastime,” said the couple.

Dave added, “It was enjoyable. It was very uplifting. But it was also exhausting. There is something about a small community and people thinking about me.”