By Jim Moore
A dinner and auction to benefit Jacoby Miles, the 15-year-old who was paralyzed in a gymnastics accident last month in Sumner, will be held Dec. 17 at the Temple Theater in Tacoma.
Several former Olympians will be in attendance, including Melanie Roach, a weightlifter who owns the gym where the accident occurred.
Former Husky quarterback Brock Huard of “Brock and Salk” on 710 ESPN Seattle will be master of ceremonies at the event. John Curley, host of “The John Curley Show” on KIRO-FM, will be the live auctioneer.
Miles was injured performing a dismount that she has landed successfully many times. According to the Bonney Lake and Sumner Courier-Herald, Miles underwent corrective surgery for a dislocated C4 vertebrae last Saturday at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tacoma.
Her spinal cord was pinched, not severed, and doctors are hoping she’ll regain feeling in her arms, but Miles is unlikely to walk again.
Roach is one of many who are helping to raise money for the Miles family. Jason and Gretchen Miles have five children, one of whom is Jacoby’s twin brother. Jacoby is the oldest and is like a second mom to her siblings.
The goal is to raise enough money so there won’t be a financial burden on the family. Roach has been overwhelmed by the community support.
“I’ve never witnessed anything like it,” she said. “It’s amazing to see the community coming together.”
Local wrestlers organized a 50/50 raffle with half of the proceeds going to the Miles’ family. They raised $2,000. The people who won the raffle donated their winnings.
Fund-raising soccer tournaments will be held later this month. Santa photos will be taken at Roach’s gym. Three gymnastics clinics are scheduled this month as well. The Lake Tapps volleyball community will host a tournament on Dec. 22 with 100 percent of the profits going to the Miles family.
Roach has written a book entitled: “Lift – Enjoying the Journey of Life.” The first day it was available for purchase on amazon.com was the same day of Miles’ accident.
“It was supposed to be released in August, then September, and it kept getting delayed,” Roach said. “It’s not a coincidence. It’s not by chance.”
While she was in the shower later, Roach got “super-emotional” and thought to herself: “I know that book is for Jacoby.”
Roach decided that 100 percent of the profits from her book will go to the Miles family.
“I’ve never met a family that’s so unique in the way they respect and love each other,” Roach said. “Everything about them is so special. They’re really deserving.”
Roach added that it’s a coping mechanism for her, saying: “I’m so proud to be part of this effort. Jacoby is inspiring a lot of people.”
There are new charitable developments every day. By the end of this week, a vehicle will be donated to the Miles family that will be equipped to handle Jacoby’s needs.
Thirteen different construction companies have offered their services to help renovate the Miles’ home.
Good Samaritan Hospital is donating a Christmas tree, gifts and dinner for the family.
FBI agents called Roach and asked for a table of 10 at the dinner and auction.
For more information and to buy tickets to the catered dinner: Visit www.goteamjacoby.com. Tickets are $100 or $200 if you’d like to meet and greet the Olympic athletes.
I’m the “captain” of a table for 10 so I’m hoping that nine listeners will join me on Dec. 17. If you’re interested, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can register directly at www.goteamjacoby. com. Thanks.
Also: Chris Egan and I will talk to Melanie Roach Thursday at 4:45 p.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle.
Featured Olympians include:
Bree Schaff, a 2010 Olympian in the bobsled, who finished fifth in the two-woman event. Originally from Bremerton, she won the 2009 U.S. National Championship in the bobsled.
Ariana Kukors of Auburn finished fifth in the 200 meter Individual Medley (IM) at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and won a bronze medal in the 200 meter IM at the 2011 FINA World Championships.
Adreinne Martelli, crew rower from University Place, won the bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the quadruple sculls event. She graduated from Curtis High School and the University of Washington.
Anna Mickelson Cummins of Bellevue won a silver medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in the women’s eight rowing.
Karen Thatcher, silver medalist, women’s ice hockey team for the 2010 Winter Olympics.