NAIFA plans Arthritis Foundation benefit

Donelle Pardee Whiting

About 46 million people were found to suffer from arthritis or chronic joint symptoms in 2006, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

Jolene Rogers, a life-long resident of Washington, was one of them.

Rogers, who was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when she was 18, died Christmas Day last year from complications caused by the disease. She was in her early 50s.

Laurie Adams with Country Financial said Rogers underwent 17 surgeries in an attempt to ease the pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the joint lining becomes inflamed as part of the body’s immune system activity. It is one of the most serious and disabling types, affecting mostly women.

Adams, who serves on the Arthritis Foundation board, said it is not really the disease that kills, but complications from the medications.

“The medications are really hard on the system,” she added.

It is also a misconception that arthritis is a senior disease Adams, a resident of Washington, said, adding that about 300,000 children suffer from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

In an effort to raise money for research and local programs and services, area National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors - Peoria members will have a Casino Night in honor of Rogers who served as the AF telethon coordinator in addition to many other volunteer roles despite her arthritis.

Nancy Bockler with State Farm, and a member of NAIFA, said the event is a no cash event.

Ticket holders are given a specified number of gambling chips at the start of the evening.

Games, run by Chicago Poker Parties, include Roulette, Black Jack, Texas Hold’em, Money Wheel and Craps.

Gamers earn additional chips; however, once a player is out of chips that is it, Bockler said, adding there is no cash involved in the Casino Night.

Toward the end of the evening, chips are used to bid on auction items, she said.

There will also be a silent auction, which will be cash based, Bockler added.

Among the items available in the auction are a Chicago Cubs spring training jersey signed by four members of the team, a Hall of Fame Ryne Sandburg Cubs jersey, a Final Four tournament basketball signed by the 2007 Washington Community High School basketball team, a chance to be a ball boy during a WCHS Panthers basketball game and many other items.

The event is sponsored by Laurie Adams, Country Financial; Jodi Brown, Nancy Bockler and Roger Hickman, State Farm; Josh Waite, Northwestern Mutual Agency and Lindy’s Downtown Market.

Tickets are $30 and available at Lindy’s and Hickman’s office. Gamers may also contact the Arthritis Foundation at 682-6600, Brown at 693-1103, Bockler at 657-5348 and Adams at 686-7050.

The fun will be from 7 to 11 p.m. at the PARC building, 1913 Townline Road in Peoria.

For more information about arthritis and the Arthritis Foundation visit www.arthritis.org.