‘Hogwild’ about a cure

By on August 20, 2010

Hogfan Party
Saturday, Sept. 11, 4-10 p.m.
St. Charles Moose
Adults $25,
Children age 6-15 $10
($5 more at the door);
younger than 6 free
visit the Hogfan booth at Elburn Days Friday through Sunday, Aug. 20-22
To donate a dessert, contact Arlene Gould at (630) 552-7765 or e-mail her

Pig roast and auction will raise money for leukemia, and lymphoma research
by Paula Coughlan
ELBURN—“Live for today, life is a gift” is a saying that Jason Gould lived by and one that his mother, Sandy Gould of Elburn, will take to heart as she hosts the 2010 Hogfan Party in his honor.

Jason, formerly of Elburn, died in January 2006 at age 36 after a successful bone marrow-stem cell transplant for leukemia left his system immune suppressed, and he contracted viral related lymphoma.

“Organizing this event and knowing that the proceeds will promote research that may end this complication is one of the things that has saved me since I’ve lost my son,” Gould said.

She added that the support she has received from the community, friends and family has been instrumental in helping her cope with the loss of her son, who was a husband and father.

After Jason married and had a family of his own, Gould spent less time with her son, but as his illness progressed she spent many hours at his side, watching his favorite TV programs with him and playing board games that he enjoyed.

“It was a very intense time, and the family valued every minute that we were given,” she said.

Having won his battle with leukemia, Jason was taken with lymphoma just when he felt he had found his calling as a fifth-grade teacher in Oswego. His mother commented that his personality won students over, and those with problems benefited from his attention and concern.

After his death, she received several letters from his former students, telling her how he had affected their lives. She said the letters were heartwarming and difficult to read at the same time.

Fifth-grade student Mike Morrell and his parents, Mitch and Jeanne Morrell of Yorkville, were so impressed by Jason that they offered to handle the pig roast for the Hogfan event, through their business, Upper Crust Catering.

Also helping out with Hogfan is the Moose Lodge in St. Charles, which is supplying its facility at no charge for the second time.

The Hogfan dinner will include the pig roast, lots of of side dishes and a huge array of donated desserts.

“Last year, people must have been afraid that there wouldn’t be enough, as instead of bringing two dishes apiece, they brought four and we had a wonderful assortment,” Gould said.

Several people and businesses already have offered desserts for Hogfan, one of those being LillyCakes of Maple Park.

Aside from the pig roast, the evening will feature returning speaker Dr. Rob Baiocchi of Ohio State University’s Cancer Research Center. Baiocchi has been involved in research on how viruses affect immune-suppressed transplant patients. His research team is attempting to develop a vaccine to prevent this complication.

Hogfan donations help to support his team’s research, clinical trials, FDA approval and finally getting the vaccine into transplant centers. Last year’s Hogfan event raised just under $24,000, which Gould delivered in person to Baiocchi in Ohio.

“There are no middlemen, no one else that needs to make a salary as with other charitable groups,” Gould said. “All proceeds go directly to Dr. Baiocchi’s innovative research lab at the university.”

The reason the event is called Hogfan was because Jason loved the Arkansas Razorbacks, which also led to his mother’s motto for the fundraiser, “Going hogwild about a cure.”

Gould said volunteers and sponsors still are needed for Hogfan, along with donations for the silent auctions. So far, the auction items include sports memorabilia, team jerseys and game tickets. Due to the economy, some previous sponsors have withdrawn this year, she said.

To be listed in the Hogfan event book, sponsors must sign up within the next week, as the book’s scheduled for printing Aug. 25.