Church slates steak dinner to raise funds for Luci Toman

STRASBURG – Jodi Jenkins at Laurel Hill Christian Church in Lebanon Church learned about Luci Toman’s story from her congregation and decided she wanted to help.

“Last year we started having steak dinners to raise money for individuals in our community,” Jenkins said. “We opened up suggestions and Jami Toman’s aunt shared Luci’s story.”

Luci gave a presentation to Jenkins’ church congregation. Afterward, the group decided to host a steak dinner fundraiser in Luci’s honor.

“The more awareness we raise, the better off the community is,” Luci said. “Then maybe we can help someone not have to go through the same process I had to go through.”

“Medical bills are always coming in,” Luci said. “Four came in today.”

Luci’s medical bills are constant. They run well over a million dollars just for medications alone. Her medication, or her “joy juice” as she calls it, costs $15,000 a month.

Thankfully, Luci Toman said, insurance helps.

Jenkins noted the fundraiser is their way to help. “Even if you have insurance, there are still out-of-pocket expenses that need to be covered,” she said.

Whether for her medication, hospital or doctor’s visits, or the constant travels,  Luci’s mother Jami Toman said she fights with insurance companies almost every day. Some days up to eight hours.

“I won’t take no,” Jami Toman said. “Fortunately,  we have an assistance fund that helps pay for Luci’s medication. Otherwise, I don’t know how we would do it.”

Jenkins said: “No one should have to deal with something like that.”

Proceeds from the steak dinner with go toward Luci’s outstanding medical bills.

“The past two steak dinners have both cleared over $4,000 each,” Jenkins said. “That’s over 350 dinners, which is pretty amazing when you realize only 20 or so members come to church on any given Sunday.”

Luci said she wants to let the community know about who she is and what HAE is.

Jami Toman said that that if one person goes to the steak dinner, “picks up a brochure and it changes their life, we did our part. I don’t want another child to have to go through what she’s been through. She lost her childhood. She had to grow up a lot faster than any 9 year old should.”

If You Go

When: 4 p.m. April 28.

Where: Laurel Hill Christian Church, 378 Laurel Hill Way, Lebanon Church.

Cost:  $15 for adults, $7.50 for children 10 and under. Tickets can be purchased from church members, at the Rockingham co-op in Strasburg or Rudolph Small Engine repair in Star Tannery.

What’s for dinner: Steaks cooked by Mount Jackson local Jay Ross, a baked potato, green beans, a salad, rolls, a dessert and drinks.