‘Giving Thanks’ raises $9,000 for Tanners, COTA organization

EDGEMONT – The Giving Thanks Tanner Benefit held this past Saturday, Nov. 10, was a tremendous success, according to Chistina Heisler with the Edgemont Area Chamber of Commerce who co-sponsored the event with the Edgemont YMCA and St. James Catholic Church.

Approximately 250 people were in attendance showing their support for Tyrel Tanner and family. Tyrel, who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, recently received a double lung transplant and is recovering at a transplant living center near the University of Colorado Hospital. His parents Bill and Richelle Tanner own multiple businesses in both Edgemont and Hot Springs, and according to the event’s organizers, have done a lot for both communities over the years. The event this past weekend at the St. James Parish Hall was a way for the communities to say thank you to the Tanner family in their time of need.

Heisler said that between free-will donations, raffle ticket sales and the silent auction, over $9,000 was raised at the fundraising event, which included a meal of baked potatoes, chili and homemade desserts, followed by a dance with music provided by The Stacy Block Band.

“Thank you to all the businesses and individuals who donated food, money, raffle and silent auction items, and time to this event,” Heisler said, while adding a special thank you to the Edgemont High School Student Council members for their help serving the food.

The double lung transplant surgery itself was made possible through a program known as  the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA).

With the cost of a life-saving transplant often exceeding $800,000, most transplant families are unable to shoulder that financial burden. COTA is a national 501(c)3 charity dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant-related expenses. 

With a goal of raising $55,000, the funds from the Giving Thanks fundraiser will support COTA to assist with transplant-related expenses, but additional volunteers are needed for this COTA community campaign. Individuals and groups interested in more information should contact Community Coordinator Lois Darrow at 712.490.5969 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Media representatives should contact the Public Relations Coordinators Les and Pat Rice at 605.645.8686 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information about Tyrel Tanner or the COTA community fundraising effort.

COTA helps transplant families avoid financial devastation. Transplant procedure costs range from $100,000 to more than $800,000. Once the transplant is complete, families face significant transplant-related expenses, including medication; transportation to and from the transplant center; lodging; and expenses while parents/spouses are out of work and often living with the hospitalized transplant patient far from home. These out-of-pocket expenses add up to tens of thousands of dollars annually with lifetime totals often exceeding $1,000,000. In cases where a shortfall exists, COTA helps bridge the financial gap.

The organization’s priority is to assure that no child or young adult is denied a transplant or excluded from a transplant waiting list due to lack of funds. One hundred percent of all funds raised in honor of patients assist with transplant-related expenses for a patient’s lifetime. 

Contributions may be sent to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, 2501 West COTA Drive, Bloomington, Indiana, 47403. Checks should be made payable to COTA, with “In Honor of Team Tyrel” written on the memo line. Secure credit card gifts are accepted online at www.COTAforTeamTyrel.com.


Courtesy photo

Approximately 250 people attended the ‘Giving Thanks’ event held at the St. James Catholic Church Parish Hall this past weekend to support the Tyrel Tanner family.


Fall River County Herald Star

EDGEMONT OFFICE: 410 2nd Avenue   Edgemont, SD 57735-0660 | 605.662.7201
HOT SPRINGS OFFICE: 334 S. Chicago St.  Hot Springs, SD 57747 | 605.745.3930
Send news to: news.frcherald@gmail.com Send Ad requests to: ads.frcherald@gmail.com