Marysville News

Fundraiser will help recovering Bunsold teacher

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A June 2 cornhole tournament at Bunsold Middle School will be a fundraiser for a well-known member of the community.

Local pastor Tom Powers, a popular seventh-grade football coach and teacher, has struggled for several months with medical issues caused by a cyst on his pancreas.

"I spent 31 total days in the hospital -- 15 days in Riverside Hospital in Columbus, two days at Union County Memorial Hospital and two weeks at the Cleveland Clinic," he said.

The doubles cornhole tournament Sunday, June 2, at Bunsold Middle School, 14198 state Route 4, will he held rain or shine. Registration begins at 2 p.m. with the tournament starting between 2:45 and 3 p.m.

It costs $30 per team to register. All proceeds will go to Powers and his family.

To register, call Kara Mayberry at 937-537-1715. Prizes include a round of golf, movie tickets, two passes to Marysville High School football in the fall, a one-month family pass to the YMCA, and a sports bag.

"I was very surprised and humbled when I found out about the fundraiser," Powers said. "Part of me felt guilty because there are so many people that have it worse than we do. Part of me wanted to not have the fundraiser because others have it worse.

"But I understand how many people want to help and I'm so thankful to have so many great people in this community that care."

A biopsy on his pancreas in March led to a cyst, he said. The cyst grew to the size of a football.

"They drained the cyst at the Cleveland Clinic. Then I got an infection in the cyst two weeks later and spent more time in the hospital," Powers said. "My kids only saw me three times while I was in the hospital. That was tough for them and me."

The once strong, energetic coach lost 52 pounds and didn't eat for about six weeks. At times, he said, the picture was pretty bleak.

"I was close to dying a few times, but it wasn't my time to go," he said. "God has plans for me and he saved my life."

Not only has Powers dealt with all the ups and downs of his medical condition, but the financial cost of the ordeal has taken a toll.

"Just like anyone else that goes through various medical situations, the doctor bills add up very quickly. Also, the hotel stay for two weeks up at the clinic wasn't cheap," he said.

The Marysville school district has rallied around Powers.

"The staff in the district has already raised money for us. I work with some amazing people," he said.

But the parents of the students he coaches on the football field also wanted to do something. That's where Mayberry comes in.

She was inspired to help organize the fundraiser, she said, by the kindness Powers showed her son, Austin, when he suffered a scary neck injury during football tryouts last fall.

"For a coach to come out of his way to the hospital and check on Austin -- that showed me he cared," she said. "It wasn't just about football. He was worried about him and he didn't give up on him.

"I like the generosity in Tom. He's family-oriented and he cares. He's been a real good mentor," Mayberry said.

"I just want people to give back to a real good family. Help our pastor out, our teacher, our coach," she added. "Come out and support Tom and his family. They are a big part of our community, the whole Powers family. Give back to a person who is always giving."

Powers is back to work these days and said he has gained back about 15 pounds.

"When I got out of the clinic, I couldn't do a single leg lift. I was skin and bones and had no strength," he said. "It's coming back very quickly but I'm still roughly down 40 pounds

"I'm so proud to live in Marysville. The prayers, support and encouragement have been wonderful," he said.

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