News-Herald Staff Writer

RICHMOND – The community is rallying around one of its’ own with a chicken barbecue benefit for James Howell on Sept. 11.

Howell, who has served as administrator for the Harrison County General Health District since 1999, was recently diagnosed with renal cancer and had surgery to remove one of his kidneys. Friends and loved ones are joining together to plan the fundraiser, which will help defray medical and other expenses for Howell and his family.

The event will be held from 3-6 p.m. at the Glenn Mills Community Center, formerly the Richmond Grange Hall, at 7452 Ohio 152. The cost is $8 for adults and $4 for children and the menu features a half a chicken, potato salad, baked beans, drink and dessert. Other activities include a silent auction, Chinese auction and a 50-50 raffle. Some of the items up for grabs include bath and body baskets for women, tools for men and a chance to win free entertainment by a local DJ.

Heather Barker, who is organizing the event with sister Lindy Longo, has known Howell for years and was compelled to lend a hand.

“I’m friends with Jamie’s wife, Michelle, and Jamie coaches my son’s baseball team,” she said. “I wanted to do something.”

She and Longo began preparations for the benefit and said Howell’s family and the baseball league have been involved.

“We’ve had a lot of help from Michelle’s family and the Richmond Baseball League, plus the Harrison and Jefferson County Health Departments made donations. We’ve had a lot of people open up in the community after we got the ball rolling.”

Barker said hopefully Howell would be able to attend, but she expects his wife and son, Carson, to be on hand. Community members in both counties are invited to join in on the benefit.

“I think it will be a success,” she said.

For more information or to make a donation, contact Barker at 740-544-5531 or Longo at 740-544-5459.