“This is how God shows his love through people.”
That’s how rural Ripon resident Barry Zabel described Believe!, a two-and-a-half hour benefit the community held for the Zabels and their daughter-sister, Alyse, 14, who is stricken with Leukemia.
Co-organized by Ripon residents Todd Elliott and Shannon Rogers with help from volunteers, the event was held Sunday in the Ripon High School auditorium.
It featured two bands, a 20-minute video, brief talks by Barry, Beth and Alyse Zabel and opportunities for visitors to share well-wishes and donations with the family.
It also included “On the Ice,” a reenactment of conversations Elliott had shared with Alyse and Barry while ice fishing on Green Lake.
The event “meant a lot,” Barry said. “The day was incredible ... the weather was the only downfall.” He viewed Believe! as a celebration. “The community has been incredible,” he said, “rallying around a little girl that has made a difference in this community. We wanted to respond [with gratitude] back to the community.”
Proceeds went to the Zabels to help defray expenses related to Alyse’s ongoing treatment in Milwaukee.
Contributions still are being accepted at Ripon USBank in the Alyse Zabel Benefit Donation Account or may be mailed to Alyse Zabel Benefit, P.O. Box 452, Ripon, WI 54971.