Early morning Tuesday on the Mack family farm in Londonderry, workers are out planting in the fields the cool crisp morning air. The sunrise also welcomed 106.3 Frank FM to an area normally set aside for Peaches and Squash on display at this well known farm stand on route Mammoth Road in Londonderry, New Hampshire.
A phone bank was set up in front of the huge Mack’s apple seen in some Old Home Day parades. Sarah Sullivan was on the are at 6am broadcasting and wondering when the phones would start ringing. The slow start would lead to a steady morning of calls and visitors to the farmstand. Many donations were in the hundreds of dollars, some were spare change from a south school student just trying to help a friend in need. Brian Battle of 106.3 Frank FM joined Sarah in the early afternoon for a lively on air conversation and interviews with contributors young and old. Highlights heard by listeners of the radiothon included visits from Bella’s parents and family. The first time many in the community have been able to hear first hand the challenges they have faced.
All were appreciated by the station and Andy Mack Jr. who came up with the idea for the event. As the day passed by the look of amazement in his eyes was clear, “I knew Londonderry would come through on this, this is what our community is all about. The families that come in to donate, you can see it in each of them, this could be their son or daughter going through this.” Andy also told us that later in the afternoon when school let out the covered porch on the farm stand would become so loud the phone bank callers could not hear the phones. Andy said in a 8pm interview at the farm stand, “We considered relocating them to the office but the air was so charged we pushed through it and toughed it out.”
Bella Tucker came down with at first was a simple infection. It continued to progress and became a bacterial blood infection that caused her to loose both her arms and legs. She has been hospitalized since Easter in a battle to save her life. Plans include rehabilitation a stay at the Shriners’s Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
By noon the donations had swelled to $11,000, a little more than the original midday goal. The rest of the day would be a flurry of calls, drop off donations and online donations to the 106.3 Frank FM charitable account. In the end over $41,000 was collected by just after 8pm that will be provided to the “Bella Tucker Fund.” For those that missed the event you can donate directly to the fund by mailing checks directly to South Elementary School, 88 South Road, Londonderry, NH 03053.
Information on future fundraisers is available at the www.bellatucker.org website.
View more photos from the event in our Londonderry Hometown Online News Darkroom.
Editors Note: Thanks to the Mack family, the ice cream crew and the workers who kept the farm going throughout the day. A special thanks to Frank 106.3 FM who brought regional attention to the needs of this Londonderry Family. To all the people that stopped in, called or connected online, you are special people that just made a difference in Londonderry, Southern New Hampshire and the world.