The power of community was on full display in Portage on Tuesday night as locals flocked to a popular fast-food restaurant for a special cause. This heartwarming event wasn't just about enjoying a meal; it was a show of solidarity for the Lambright family, who are striving to secure a service dog for their daughter, Ryleigh.
Ryleigh, diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy known as Lennox Gastaut Syndrome, faces frequent seizures and her family believes a trained service dog could bring comfort and safety during these episodes. However, the cost of acquiring such a highly skilled companion is substantial.
Chick-fil-A in Portage stepped up to lend a helping hand. Eager to make a difference, the restaurant's team rallied behind the cause. Megan Stutzman, the marketing director at Chick-fil-A, expressed her team's enthusiasm, stating, "It is absolutely amazing. We have been looking for opportunities like this since the end of COVID. So, when I told my team we would be doing something like this, they were all super ecstatic and ready to serve."
The primary aim of the fundraiser was to generate funds for Ryleigh's service dog, which carries a hefty price tag of approximately $20,000—an expense not covered by insurance. At the time of reporting, the family had raised $13,000, and their hopes rested on the generous sales at Chick-fil-A to propel them towards their goal. The Lambrights aspire to acquire a dog capable of detecting and alerting them to Ryleigh's seizures while also providing mobility assistance.
The Lambright family expressed profound gratitude for the overwhelming support they received from both their local community and Chick-fil-A. Their hearts filled with hope as they anticipated a brighter future for their daughter, now armed with a loyal service dog by her side.
While the journey to acquire a service dog is a lengthy process, spanning approximately two years, the Lambright family remains undeterred. They are fueled by the collective goodwill and financial assistance they have received. In a testament to their commitment, Chick-fil-A pledged to donate 15% to 20% of their proceeds to support the Lambright family.
The heartwarming event at Chick-fil-A in Portage showcased the incredible impact a united community can have on the lives of individuals in need. Ryleigh's battle with epilepsy has been eased by the outpouring of support and the prospect of a trained service dog. With the ongoing efforts and generosity, the Lambright family is moving closer to providing their daughter with a loyal and vigilant companion. Together, they are rewriting the narrative of hope, resilience, and the remarkable things that can be achieved when a community comes together for a greater cause.