The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 3, 2013

Chill supper, auction planned for Saturday to aid Washburn family

By Ryan Richardson

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Another fundraiser is scheduled to help the Washburn family of Asbury.

Terra Gleason and Brenda Poulson have organized a chili and spaghetti dinner and silent auction that will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at Mount Hope Church of Christ, 2830 Mount Hope Road in Webb City. Admission is $6 per person at the door.

John Washburn, his wife, Deborah, and their three daughters Abby, 19; Samantha, 13; and Karli, 12, were involved in a head-on collision in January on Interstate 44 in Jasper County when another driver was traveling the wrong way. John was killed in the crash and his wife and daughters each suffered serious injuries and have been in and out of hospitals since. The other driver, of Tulsa, Okla., also was killed.

Gleason, who graduated with Deborah from Carl Junction High School in 1981, decided to help organize former classmates and others to support the family.

“The response has been great in the community, but it has been really surprising the outpouring from people who aren’t from here,” Gleason said. “A lot of our silent auction items are from people who have heard about the situation and want to help in any way they can.”

The silent auction will feature more than 100 items, and there also will be a quilt raffle, dessert auction and live music.

Gleason said she has prepared for more than 500 people, following the surprise turnout at the Jazz and Java fundraiser on March 8 at Carl Junction High School. According to Carl Junction Band Booster Treasurer Shirley Wehmeyer, the event — which more than 1,000 people attended — raised nearly $16,000.

Abby Washburn graduated from Carl Junction, and her two sisters are enrolled in Carl Junction schools.

“It was amazing to see the turnout at Jazz and Java ... I was kind of panicked after seeing that many people,” Gleason said. “But it helped us prepare for ours because we took notes at that fundraiser. This is the first time I’ve done something on this scale, so I came prepared.”

Gleason said that she hopes to raise at least $5,000 from the event Saturday.

A website is now active so people who plan to attend can RSVP for the event. Go to The site also includes links to make a donation to the Washburn family.

Trust fund

Arvest Bank is taking donations for the Washburn family. Those interested in making a donation can mail a check with the words “Arvest Cares Washburn” on the memo line to Arvest Bank, P.O. Box 460, Joplin, MO 64801 or at any Arvest Bank branch.