A Greenford couple organized a fundraiser in the form of a donkey basketball game to help a local man recently injured in a farming accident.
54-year-old Russell Marshall of Berlin Center lost his left arm, and suffered injuries to his ribs, pelvis, knee, leg, and foot.
Russell’s wife Melissa Marshall said he’s doing well, all things considered.
“He is very positive, he is running some high fevers, they’re thinking there may be some infection,” said Marshall.
To make matters worse, three days after the accident, Russell’s employers fired him, leaving him without any medical insurance.
“Right now we are fighting to get some medical coverage to help cover all the costs,” said Marshall. “I can tell you that we are at least the million dollar mark right now.”
Some of the Marshal’ls acquaintances came up with an idea to help: The Russell Marshall Donkey Ball Tournament.
“My husband and I had been praying for him and we just felt that we weren’t doing enough so we decided that we needed to do more,” said co-organizer Lindsay Ruthrauff.
News crews were not allowed to take photos or video of the event, as some people and organizations believe the idea of donkey basketball could be a form of animal cruelty.
The Columbus-based company’s website said it’s a family fun show for fundraising benefits. Right on the homepage it also notes that “humane treatment of our animals is always our first consideration.”
In any case, the event ended-up being hugely successful, raising for Russell’s care.
Ruthrauff’s husband is a farmer, and she explained they were all too happy to put on the event.
“It hit too close to home because that could be anyone’s family, it could be anyone’s dad, anyone’s husband, and we just wanted to help,” said RuthRauff.
A spaghetti dinner will be held in a few weeks at the Berlin Township Fire Department. There’s also a fund set-up at Farmers National Bank.