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Community comes out to support Austyn Halter

Throngs of people lined up, some for more than an hour, to donate blood for Austyn Halter, 2 1/2, diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia at Beau Reve on Saturday.

Halter’s parents, Sarah and Josh, of Orangefield, are well known in the community — Josh worked in construction and Sarah is a nurse in the family birth center and neonatal unit at Christus Hospital-St. Mary.

Austyn’s grandmother, Jennifer Olson, and Wendy Mullens, a co-worker of Sarah, were amazed and excited at the large turnout at the event that also featured a bake sale and a place to sign up to Be A Donor.

“Austyn started her first round of chemo,” Olson said, adding this round of treatment will proceed for six months and may include the chance for a hospital stay for six months. “She’s actually doing very well.”

Co-workers of Sarah Halter organized Saturday’s event.

“Sarah and Josh have great friends,” Olsen said. “We’re amazed by the outpouring of support.”

Bethany Davis, left, and her daughter Presley, 2, looks at items at a bake sale to benefit Austyn Halter at Beau Reve on Saturday. Mary Meaux/The News

Bethany Davis, left, and her daughter Presley, 2, looks at items at a bake sale to benefit Austyn Halter at Beau Reve on Saturday.
Mary Meaux/The News

Bethany Davis and daughter Presley, 2, walked through the bake sale section eying the treats. Davis’ husband graduated with Sarah Halter and Sarah delivered both of Davis’ children.

“This is a really good turnout and there’s an hour long wait to donate blood,” Davis said. “We both have 2-year-olds and I can’t imagine being in her position.”

Another benefit is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 3 at Beau Reve Fine Dining, 4400 Atlantic Road, Port Arthur. Organizers will sell links, hot dogs and chips for lunch and gumbo dinners with potato salad and rice for dinner, according to the Facebook page.

There will also be activities for children, food, silent and live auctions, raffles, door prizes and live music.

E-mail: mary.meaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews