By now, just about everyone in the community knows that early Christmas morning Garfield senior Porter Lyons was thrust into a fight for his life as he learned that his heart was failing and he would need a heart transplant. On New Year’s Eve Porter received a new heart and is now on the road to recovery.

Once again the community was there during the crisis. They offered up prayers, sent gift cards, letters of encouragement and even money to help ease the burden on the family, but they wanted to do more, after all they are our neighbors and friends. Both Windham and Garrettsville have joined forces to embrace the challenge to reach out and help one of their own by holding several fundraising events.   Right now there are several events going on that just about everyone can participate in to help out the family during their crisis. So let’s rally together and help ease this family’s burden by showing them that we too have the “Heart of the Lyons”.

The first opportunity to help is participate in the $100 gift certificate raffle at Millers Lawn & Garden. Tickets are 3 for $5 or 8 for $10 with the drawing taking place on February 3, 2012.  Proceeds from the sales of the raffle will go directly to the Lyons Family. Millers Lawn and Garden is located right on Main Street between Center Street and High Street.

Another opportunity that has spread through he community like wild fire is the “Hearts For A Lyon” paper heart drive. Hearts are $1 each and are available in Garrettsville at Sky Plaza IGA, Mc Donald’s, Subway, Dairy Queen, Huntington, Sean’s Pub and Miller’s Restaurant. In addition to the Garrettsville locations businesses in Windham, such as Windham Hardware, Windham Sparkle Market, and Circle K are joining the campaign to sell the red paper hearts as well. Purchase a heart and put your name on it and it is on display at the business where you purchased it. There is hope that a display of the hearts will be made just in time for the next event scheduled February 11, at the Heart of the Lyons Walk being held in Northgate.

A one-mile fun walk through Northgate in Garrettsville will take place at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 11th to benefit Porter Lyons and his family. The cost of this event will be $10. The race will come with a t-shirt that shows you truly came and supported Porter and his family in their time of need. Folks can register online for the race at until February 3, 2012.

Students at Garfield and Windham schools have embraced the “Heart of the Lyons” as well. This year the schools will unite as “Rivals for a Cause” and hold a blackout night at the Garfield-Windham basketball game held at Garfield High School February 24th at 6pm.  The students from both schools are now selling black t-shirts from youth sizes to adult x-large for $10 and 2xlg- 5xlg are available as well for  $12.  Order forms are available at the schools. The students are hoping everyone participates and supports this united cause by wearing the t-shirts at the game.

Prior to the rival game there will also be a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the Lyons Family. Tickets for the dinner: adults $7; children 6-12 years old, $4. All proceeds will go to the Lyons family. The dinner will be served from 4pm -7pm.   The dinner will consist of spaghetti and meatballs, salad, bread and beverage.  The students will also hold a bake sale for those who would like something sweet to top off their meal.

For those who just want to give and skip all the fundraising events and donate directly to the family, the People Tree has set up a fund for the family. One can send a check to the People Tree with Lyons Family on the memo line and mail to 8309 Center Street Garrettsville Ohio 44231.

So whether you have $1 or $100 bucks to spare, everyone pick an event or two or even all of them and let’s continue to show that we too have the “Heart of the Lyons” all proceeds from the events will go to the Lyons Family.