Bonnie Stuckey has devoted her life to serving others and to blessing countless people through her teaching career and her musical giftedness.

In December this past year, following oral surgery, she continued to experience ongoing concerns with pain and swelling that eventually led to emergency surgery on Feb. 19 at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison. It appeared that she had a serious infection in the jawbone.

As a breast cancer survivor for over 30 years, it did not occur to her or her physicians that cancer might be the source of this problem, but a biopsy during surgery revealed that there was cancer in her jaw.

Following that diagnosis, she went through a very extensive eight-hour surgery to remove her entire left jaw, all of her teeth and then to place a reconstructed jaw made partially from her own thigh muscle.

After a lengthy recovery, she had 30 radiation treatments at UW Hospital and six weeks of intense chemotherapy as part of an experimental trial. Through so much pain, exhaustion, and disruption of taste as well as difficulty swallowing, Bonnie has continued her positive focus, even returning to play the organ at her local St. Paul Church of Epleyanna whenever her doctors and her physical condition allow.

She continues to need rehydration therapy at SSM Health in Monroe until she is able to sustain enough intake to maintain correct electrolyte balance.

To assist Bonnie and her husband, Merle, with the many expenses not covered by insurance, a benefit has been planned for Saturday, Aug. 20 in Dakota, Ill, in her honor called “Bucks for ‘B’”. Various events will be running from 3 to 11 p.m. at both the Dakota High School, 400 Campus Drive, and Route 75 Bar and Grill, 320 E. Main Street.

Donations can also be made directly to an account that has been set up in her name at the State Bank of Davis, located at 100 IL Rt. 75.

Schedule of events

At Dakota High School:

• Cow Pie Plop: Dakota FFA

• Bounce house and obstacle course

• Bonnie Bingo: Country Cousins 4-H Club

• Dunking Booth sponsored by Best Dam Bar

• Nails by Parlor on Main

• Face painting by Watson and friends

• Bags Tournament: sponsored by Dakota girls’ softball (call Jeff Kinney to sign up 815-291-6890)

• Silent auction from 3 to 7 p.m. (contact Marilyn Thoren to donate items 815-789-4707)

• Brat/hot dog meal from 4 to 7 p.m. sponsored by St. Paul Church of Epleyanna

• Live auction at 7:30 p.m. in the gym sponsored by St. Paul Church of Epleyanna (contact Sally Kuhlmeier to donate items for auction 815-291-7625)

• Wagon rides by Ron Elmer will be available between the school and Route 75 Bar and Grill and around the school grounds

At Route 75 Bar and Grill:

• Live bands: Back 40 from 3 to 5 p.m., Roadhouse Roosters from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and Hank’s Neighbors from 8 to 10 p.m.

• 50/50 Raffle

For more information or to volunteer, please call Shelby Bordner at 815-990-1498.

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