#Prayers4Ellie fundraisers work to benefit Cupp Family

Staff Writer Kate Wehlann

Ellie Cupp has had a rough start to life. At just three months old, she’s battling Stage 4 neuroblastoma.

The cancer is considered fairly rare, with fewer than 20,000 cases in the US each year. It often develops in the adrenal glands and can develop in the abdomen, chest, neck, pelvis and bones. Children under the age of 5 are the most common victims. In Ellie’s case, she was likely born with it, though it didn’t develop until recently.

The day Ellie was admitted to Norton Children's Hospital, Ellie's parents, Kayla and Kyle Cupp, started the “Prayers 4 Ellie” Facebook group to help keep friends and family abreast of what’s going on. As of Wednesday afternoon, the group has more than 2,900 members.

A Facebook fundraiser led by Mary Walton, Ellie’s grandmother, has raised $16,190 of a goal of $62,519 as of Oct. 14 (click here to donate: “Ellie’s Fight” ). As word began to spread throughout the community, organizations and businesses, including members of Ellie's family, jumped into action.

Catie Davis began selling "Ellie's Fighters" wristbands for $5 a piece. Lisa Renfrow is selling t-shirts — $20 for short-sleeved and $25 for long-sleeved (an upcharge will be added for shirts 2x and larger). Those interested in the shirts or bracelets can contact them or Trevor Cupp through the Prayers for Ellie Facebook group to place an order. To pay online through PayPal, send funds to kgcupp2010@gmail.com. For those without Facebook, call 812-620-9990 to place an order. Payments and general donations can also be mailed to 5881 E. Old State Rd. 56, Salem, Indiana, 47167, in care of Kyle's mother, Barbara Cupp.

Several businesses have donated items for silent auctions and benefit dinners. Main Street Pizza had a fundraiser on Thursday, Oct. 3, and raised nearly $650 and Papa John's will have a fundraiser on Tuesday, Oct. 15. El Camino's donated 15% of all gift card sales until Oct. 9 to the family.

A benefit at Southern Hills Church was held on Oct. 10, which included a soup dinner, silent auction and pumpkin and face painting.

There are donation buckets set up at various local businesses and bikers are working to pull together benefit rides. There's even talk about a night of wrestling to help raise funds for the family.

Prayers 4 Ellie Facebook group member Jenna Martinez said her book club is holding a bake sale fundraiser at The People's Bank in Crothersville on Saturday, Oct. 19. She said they are also raffling three baskets with various items and certificates from local businesses.

Christy Brueche, who knows all about hospital stays and worrying about a child's health as she and her husband, Jaime, have done that with their son, Cody, who has a rare chromosomal disorder, is offering her Lemongrass Spa commission for the month of October to the Cupp Family, about 25% of sales. Visit the shopping site HERE to shop the event set up to fundraise for Ellie. Brueche said it's important to make sure you select direct shipping, instead of shipping to the hostess. Shipping on orders under $70 is $6.95.

Stephanie Farler is doing the same with her Scentsy business. You can shop her fundraiser HERE. Penni Morris is also holding a Scentsy fundraiser HERE.

Another woman, Kara Claywell, is selling raffle tickets for a drawing on Oct. 19. She is raffling off some home decor. Tickets are $1 each or $5 for six tickets. Her husband, Tim Claywell, works with Kyle at Kimball and Kara Claywell said you can contact her through the Prayers 4 Ellie Facebook page or from Tim at Kimball. Kara Claywell can be messaged on Facebook for tickets, along with another woman, Jessica Lee, who also said she could be contacted by phone for non-Facebook users at 812-896-6540.

JoAnn Morgan, who helps operate the Salem McDonalds where Kayla is a manager, said the store is also planning an upcoming fundraiser.

An Ohio Valley Wrestling event will start at 7 p.m., on Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Salem High School gym, benefitting the Cupps.

Kayla said several churches have given meals and snacks while they've been at the hospital, along with toys for their Ellie's 2-year-old brother, Hunter.

"The support from the community has just been outstanding," said Kyle. "We can't thank them enough. The donations everyone has been giving have been overwhelming."

"Just keep her in your prayers," said Kayla. "We don't know what's going to happen next yet."



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