Helping Works

Stand up to Dravet syndrome at Goin’ for Owen

Show your support for Owen Watson and the Dravet Syndrome Foundation at Goin’ for Owen on Friday, June 23.
Show your support for Owen Watson and the Dravet Syndrome Foundation at Goin’ for Owen on Friday, June 23. Provided by Austin Watson

It’s a special moment when we cross paths with a hero.

And what if you live with one? Well, in the words — or word — of Napoleon Dynamite, “Lucky!”

Boiseans Austin and Stewart Watson get the honor of being in the presence of a superhero daily. Their 3- 1/2 -year-old son Owen doesn’t fight crime, but he does put up one heck of a battle against Dravet syndrome, a rare, intractable and catastrophic form of epilepsy.

Owen experienced his first seizure at 3 months old and was officially diagnosed after his first birthday.

You can honor this strong, brave little man who no doubt inspires his family every day at Goin’ for Owen: 5K for Dravet on Friday, June 23, at Ann Morrison Park Old Timer’s Shelter, 1130 W. Royal Blvd., Boise.

The family-friendly 5K fun run starts at 5:30 p.m., with registration at 4:30 p.m., and features a silent auction, giveaways and other activities.

Owen will, of course, be there, along with his entourage — his mom and dad and paternal grandparents as well as an aunt who is flying in special for the event.

Proceeds from the second annual event benefit the Dravet Syndrome Foundation, whose mission is to raise money for research into Dravet syndrome and related childhood epilepsies while helping afflicted individuals and their families.

The cost is $30 general and $15 for children. Children with Dravet syndrome/epilepsy are free and receive a sweet purple superhero cape. If you can’t join in the fun personally, there is a virtual runner option available for $35 general and $20 children.

Registration available at or on site on event day.

Since the Dravet Syndrome Foundation’s inception in 2009, it has awarded more than $2.5 million in research grants and more than $100,000 in patient assistance grants.

Get great deals, support health care at fundraising yard sale

Who doesn’t love to hit up a good yard sale? They will always hold a special place in my heart — my dad getting the paper, origami’ing it to show just the garage/yard sales and then loading us all up in the rig to start the hunt for “treasures.”

So to my fellow bargain hunters, this is your weekend to score and support health care needs locally and globally. Bonus right?

The 6th annual fundraising yard sale takes over the parking lot of the First Church of the Nazarene, 601 16th Ave. S., Nampa, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m Friday-Saturday, June 23-24.

Search for those ideal finds in furniture, collectibles, home décor, kitchenware, clothing, electronics, books and more.

Proceeds benefit Hands of Hope Northwest, a faith-based nonprofit that aims to improve quality of life for people with health/mobility issues by redistributing donated medical equipment and supplies with partners.

For those who can’t make it out this weekend, you can still help by cleaning out your closets and bringing donations to the Hands of Hope NW office, 1201 S. Powerline Road, Nampa, on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Volunteers are also needed on the day of the sale as cashiers, loaders of furniture into vehicles and table organizers.

Call 461-1473 to help out or to request a donated furniture pickup.

Promoting awareness and understanding of Fostering Idaho at Kleiner Park

The family-friendly Fostering Idaho Community Festival is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 24, in Meridian.

This event will cover some ground, with activities inside and outside of the Meridian Senior Center, 1920 N. Records Ave., and extending to the B1 shelter area of Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park.

Starting at 9 a.m., families can participate in a free scavenger hunt to collect free prizes, while supplies last.

In addition to food, games, prizes and a raffle, there will be various nonprofit vendors on site, including JEMfriends, Idaho Wednesday’s Child, Casey Family Programs, Family Advocates, PATH of Idaho and others.

Also, enjoy free face painting, foster youth panel presentations, cultural dancers and music.

The raffle begins at 2 p.m. with proceeds going to One Church One Child, a partnership between Idaho and faith organizations to support children and families in foster care, recruit new foster and adoptive families, and support birth families of children in care.

Free to attend. Call Jennifer at 353-2678 for more information or if interested in volunteering at this event.

4th annual “Thanksgiving in June” food drive

When starting City of Trees Real Estate in the beginning of 2014, Brent Hanson and Jeremiah Bullock were clear in their vision that the company needed to be a vehicle for giving back to the community that has provided them many opportunities over the years.

They soon learned of the need that food banks have during the summer months when thousands of children are not getting school-provided breakfast or lunch, and overall giving is at an all-time low for non-perishable food items. (Food banks receive most food donations during the holiday season.)

City of Trees Real Estate then committed to creating an event the entire community could rally around, and “Thanksgiving in June” was born.

Help fill the City of Trees Real Estate moving truck as many times as possible; it will be parked at Rosauers parking lot, 2986 N. Eagle Road, Meridian, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 24-25.

The goal is to collect 5,000 pounds of food and $5,000 in cash donations for The Idaho Foodbank, which helps to feed, educate and advocate for Idaho’s hungry through a network of community-based partners and to develop efficient solutions to strengthen individuals, families and communities. Cash donations can be made at

For more information, call 577-7165 or email

Michelle Jenkins: 208-377-6451