GRIFFITH | A Sept. 20 spaghetti dinner and silent auction will raise funds to help a 1978 Griffith high school graduate and Navy veteran who is battling throat cancer.
The benefit will be from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at St. Mary’s Hildebrandt Hall, 525 N. Lafayette St. Tickets are $10 with children under 12 free. There will be raffles, a cash bar and bake sale.
A 22-year U.S. Navy veteran, Richard “Butch” Fortner, was an electrician for the Blue Angels aerial squadron and fought in Operation Desert Storm, his sister Nancy Stout said. Born and raised in Griffith, Fortner attended St. Mary’s Parish and married his high school sweetheart Gail Peters. Fortner, who has five children one with special needs, has been diagnosed with stage IV throat cancer, Stout said. He is unable to work due to the aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
As a welcome home, Fortner was the Honoree Football Team Captain at the Griffith home game Sept. 6.
“My brother has come back home with his family,” Stout said. “Our wonderful town has opened their arms to welcome a retired Navy son home, so he can heal through his illness.”