On Sunday, several people gathered at the Fairbury City Park to take part in the annual Fairbury FCCLA Fun Run, showing their support for Derek and Stephanie Garfield as they continue the process to adopt a child.
Angie Dragoo, who helped organize the run, explained that she wanted to help the Garfields as soon as she learned about their efforts to adopt.
“Derek does so much for the youth in our community,” said Dragoo. “I just wanted to help them be able to share the same love that he shares with all of these kids with a child of their own. He has a really big heart. I was really excited for them and I wanted to do anything I could to help them. I had the boys go out and collect sponsors. It just goes to show how strong our community is when it comes together and supports something. I’m grateful for the people who are here and for the people who showed their support.”
Tammi Mans, FCCLA Adviser, explained that she began working together with Dragoo to plan the run when she discovered the annual FCCLA fun run was planned for the same weekend. She explained that FCCLA works to promote families, which is why she was excited to support this cause. Mans is grateful to everyone who supported the run and the purchase of t-shirts.
“We wanted to make it a little bigger this year, so we incorporated the 5K with the help of Carmen Hinman, who does a run for the Hope Crisis Center,” Mans said. “Adoption and family is what FCCLA is all about. So it just made sense to work together. I want to thank the people who took the time to sponsor this. Angie Dragoo’s son (an eighth grader at Fairbury Jr./Sr. High School) donated $50 of his own money because Derek has touched his life.”
Derek Garfield emphasized how grateful he is to see the community come together to support Stephanie and him in their journey to adopt. He explained that the process is moving forward, and that they just completed an important step.
“It means the world to us,” said Derek. “It’s just been awesome! We’re just as thankful as we can be, and we’ve been blown away. The City of Fairbury continues to rally around us. There’s not enough words to explain our depth of gratitude. Things are going good. I just received word Friday after the football game that we passed our home study, so we are officially eligible to adopt. Now we’re starting the process of looking through agencies to find a match, and that can happen anytime in the near future.”
People who would like to support the Garfields with the adoption process are encouraged to visit their crowdfunding page, or to contact them.