Community to rally behind local cancer patient

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LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A special benefit on Saturday is centered around a person who has been an integral part of some of Greater Lafayette’s most popular events. You may not know Jeffrey Barbee by name, but you probably know the events he’s helped organize – including the Taste of Tippecanoe and OUTfest.

Barbee is currently fighting cancer, and the community is rallying around him with the Benefit for Jeffrey Barbee.

Benefit volunteers Ashley Smith and Steve Bultinck with Friends of Downtown stopped by News 18 This Morning to talk about Saturday’s family-friendly event and Barbee’s current condition.

“Jeffrey was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer,” Smith said. “He went through a 12½-hour surgery, and he had his jaw removed and part of his tongue removed. His jaw has been rebuilt. He just found out this week that he’s probably going to have to go through radiation and chemo[therapy].”

The Lafayette Theater is opening its doors on Saturday, Nov. 19, for a benefit to help offset some of Barbee’s medical costs. There will be a silent auction, food and live music.

“All of the bands and musicians have donated their time,” Bultinck said. “They’re asking for a donation of $10 for admittance. Though, if you’ve got a buck, they’ll let you in.”

As for the silent auction, items include an unlimited pizza for a year card from Arni’s, gift cards, gift baskets and more.

There’s also a small but meaningful gesture anyone can do for Barbee as he recovers.

“We’re asking that if you do come to the event, please bring a card or something that you want to write a note in. [It’s] to show that you’re thinking of him, [include] a joke or just good thoughts – that way, when he goes to start his treatment, he can go to his box [of letters] and pick out two or three a day and know that people care about him.”

Benefit for Jeffrey Barbee is from 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, to 1 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20.

Among the bands and musicians that will be playing live that night are The Millers, Fergus Daly and Scratch Thing.

The event is family friendly and open to the public. Again, $10 donations are suggested for admittance.