One drive across Sampson County in either direction and you’re bound to see them: “Praying for Team Wyatt.” Beautiful bright yellow and orange signs perfectly donned with a tractor lining the lawns of prayer warriors who show their support.
Wyatt Fisher, son of Daryl and Hope Fisher of Autryville, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on March 28, just two weeks before his third birthday. Sadly, Wyatt passed away on April 27. His passing, however, hasn’t stopped the outpouring of love and support for his family.
Shortly after Wyatt’s diagnosis, the Fisher family created a Facebook page that quickly grew in popularity. Before long, fundraisers abound from the selling of bracelets, yard signs, T-shirts, car washes and the list went on. Team Wyatt had gone straight to work as caring individuals flooded the page wanting to help.
Then, the tragic unimaginable happened. Saturday morning, April 28, Hope Fisher posted an update that Wyatt had passed away from complications of a rare infection.
Completely heartbroken, Team Wyatt remained determined, knowing that the Fisher Family was still in need. Prayer requests poured in but so too did monetary support. The sale of Team Wyatt merchandise hasn’t slowed but supporters have continued to look for new ways to generate funds.
They have accomplished just that.
With the Facebook page sitting at over 3,000 members, a few of those members are orchestrating athletic benefits in the form of a wiffle ball tournament and a golf tournament. Both are set to take place in July.
Austin Raynor, a 2017 graduate of Midway High School, has announced that he is putting together a Wiffle Ball Tournament to be held Saturday and Sunday, July 14 and 15. The venue will be Miffly Field located at his home in Spivey’s Corner.
Raynor expressed that although he has never met the Fisher family in person, following their story has had an impact on him and he wanted to give back.
“It hit me one day that I could use Miffly Field to our advantage. I have followed their story through the support group on Facebook which has the potential to be far reaching so I wanted to utilize the tools I had to be a blessing to them,” he said.
Miffly Field is currently the home of The Miffly League, a league of four wiffle ball teams that gather weekly for some friendly competition.
“The Fisher family has been very receptive of the idea to put together this fundraiser,” Raynor continued. “They are the sweetest people to talk to and I can’t wait to meet them in person. They’ve been so supportive and I want to return the miracle that Wyatt did in my own life”
Raynor states that even though he is still in the phase of spreading the word, the fundraiser seems to be gaining speed.
“We’re really hoping to get at least eight teams. All four teams in the Miffly League have expressed interest in participating and I have had several people in the community and across Facebook to also express interest,” he said.
Still, though, Raynor says any form of support is appreciated.
“All proceeds generated will go directly to the Fisher Family so all forms of donations and sponsors are welcomed,” he concluded.
The tournament is double elimination and will have an entry fee of $100 per 7-player team. Interested participants are encouraged to contact Austin Raynor at 910-990-4175 or [email protected]
If Wiffle Ball isn’t your forte, then another opportunity to support will be in the form of the Wyatt Fisher Benefit Golf Tournament. That tournament is being organized by past and present ICU and Pediatric Emergency Room providers of Cape Fear Valley Hospital and is also scheduled for Saturday, July 14.
It will be held at the Gates Four Golf Course and Country Club in Fayetteville. Registration will begin at 11:30 a.m. and a shotgun start is set for 1:00 p.m. The entry fee is $75 per single player and $300 per four-player team. $100 hole sponsors and $500 corporate sponsors are also being sought. All interested participants are asked to contact Candice Dowd at 910-876-1821 or Janice Williams at 910-574-1333.
With so many people rushing to the scene to help out, Hope Fisher says she finds herself in awe at the love and support her family has seen.
“It’s hard to explain. It’s amazing how many people have wanted to help us. It’s amazing and overwhelming, too,” Hope admitted. “I say overwhelming because people we don’t even know have reached out to help. The community as a whole has showed so much love and compassion and Wyatt has over 3,000 members on his support page so he truly touched a lot of hearts.”
Reach Daron Barefoot at [email protected] Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.