Community

WineStyles hosts fundraiser for family of Ethan Iverson

From left, it was a bittersweet family reunion at WineStyles July 23 for Ethan Iverson’s aunt Chris Chadwick, great-aunt Fran Aspen-Zelmer, second-cousin Monica Jones, mother Teresa Iverson and grandmother Shirley Sutor.   - Kirk Boxleitner
From left, it was a bittersweet family reunion at WineStyles July 23 for Ethan Iverson’s aunt Chris Chadwick, great-aunt Fran Aspen-Zelmer, second-cousin Monica Jones, mother Teresa Iverson and grandmother Shirley Sutor.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — Ethan Iverson turned 8 years old in April, and passed away June 30, after a more than year-long battle with cancer.

Iverson’s family is coping with his loss, as well as with the debt that his medical care left them, which was why Sunnyside Elementary kindergarten teacher Val Nichols teamed up with WineStyles to offer a wine-tasting fundraiser on behalf of the Iversons July 23.

The Sunnyside Elementary staff and faculty had teamed up with the Marysville Police Department and Marysville Fire District to conduct a spaghetti feed and silent auction fundraiser on behalf of the Iversons May 29, but a fundraiser at Wine-Styles was another fundraising idea that one of Nichols’ friends had suggested to her. Nichols, who described herself as a novice at fundraising, contacted the employees of WineStyles, whom she described as helpful and accommodating, and then circulated word of the fundraiser through family and friends on Facebook.

Nichols estimated that the event drew roughly 50 attendees, who paid $20 per ticket, of which $10 each went directly to a fund on behalf of the Iversons. Some donors purchased tickets in spite of being unable to attend, and the full $20 they paid went toward the Iversons’ fund. Nichols added that, from 5-8 p.m. on July 23, 10 percent of all purchases made at the Marysville WineStyles also went toward the Iversons’ fund.

“WineStyles and all the people who have participated have been so fantastic,” Nichols said. “I’ve never arranged anything like this before, but they’ve all offered suggestions and done so much for me that I can’t thank them enough. The community has been absolutely wonderful.”

Shirley Sutor, Ethan Iverson’s grandmother, once again spoke on behalf of Ethan’s parents, Teresa and Ryan. Between the WineStyles fundraiser and a previous “poker run” fundraiser that had started out of Sound Harley-Davidson in Smokey Point, the latter of which drew an estimated $2,000 in donations, Sutor described Ethan’s parents as “doing okay for now,” even though Ryan has not yet returned to work at Boeing, and he and Teresa are still “just going through the motions,” according to Sutor. Sutor credited Ethan’s 10-month-old younger brother, Gavin, with helping Ryan and Teresa keep it together.

“He looks just like Ethan,” Sutor said, as she showed off camera-phone photos of Gavin.

Sutor echoed Nichols’ words of thanks to “the whole community of Marysville” for their support. She recalled how happy Ethan was to receive his honorary badge from the police department, as well as his ride in the bucket of the fire district’s ladder truck, at the Sunnyside Elementary fundraiser May 29.

“Ethan’s buried at the Evergreen Cemetery in Everett and he likes company, so go see him,” Sutor said. “I swear, there’s an orange glow around his gravesite,” she added, noting that orange was Ethan’s favorite color.

Those interested in supporting the Iverson family, or learning more, can log onto www.caringbridge.org/visit/ethaniverson.

To read The Marysville Globe’s June 2 story about Ethan Iverson, you can log onto http://www.pnwlocalnews.com/north_sound/mar/news/46742667.html.

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