Back in September, a pie-eating contest took place during the Tiffin Seneca Heritage Festival. The winner was Ben King, and he designated his winnings of $620 for his favorite charity - his mother, Deb King.
Osteoarthritis has damaged both of Deb's knees, and a lack of insurance for knee replacements has caused her to put off the surgery.
"I have talked to people and checked the Internet. The cost can run from $30,000 to $70,000 for one knee," Deb said. "I just got insurance through the Ohio High Risk Insurance Pool, but it is just for me."
The wife of Rex King, pastor of New Beginnings Assembly of God for the past 12 years, Deb has been active in children's ministries at the church, but her painful condition has forced her to give up those duties. At the same time, the Kings have numerous outstanding bills from previous procedures.
To help the Kings catch up on their expenses, members of New Beginnings have organized a fundraiser Sunday.
"We are so grateful. The benefit has overwhelmed us. Everybody just jumped on the bandwagon," Deb said. "It makes them feel they can do something for us."
If you go
The Deb King Spaghetti Dinner and Auction is to take place Sunday at New Beginnings Church, 733 N. Sandusky St.
An auction is planned for 4 p.m., with dinner 5-7 p.m. The meal is to include spaghetti, salad, garlic bread, dessert and a drink. The cost is $8 for adults, $5 for ages 5-11 and free for those age 4 and younger. A drive-through carry-out is to be available.
The auction items include sports equipment, gift baskets, tools, artwork, gift certificates, furniture, home decor and small appliances.
To donate or to learn more, call the church at (419) 447-8320.
The Kings have adult children who have been supportive. Deb, 53, said her daughter helps with shopping and cleaning, and her sons provide transportation and do some of the household tasks.
She also is on many prayer lists.
Deb said she joined the aquatic arthritis class at the YMCA In February and was experiencing some relief until the middle of summer. A visit to her doctor and some tests showed she also had developed rheumatoid arthritis. Her classmates asked about her progress and recently welcomed her back, with the help of some medication.
Donations for the benefit have been coming in from every direction.
Deb said the woman coordinating the benefit sent letters to all the Assemblies of God in the district and received generous responses. Churches of other denominations also have responded.
Deb said she plans to attend the dinner and auction to visit with her supporters.