Rounsville Strong benefit planned for July 18

A benefit to support cancer survivor Shawn Rounsville and his family has been set for 2 p.m. July 18 at the Eldred Township Firehall. Rounsville, center, is pictured with his son, Keaton; daughters, Suzie and Aubrianna; and his wife, Nancy, holding their granddaughter, Grace.

For the past couple of months, the Eldred community and local band County Lines has answered the call to step up and help the Rounsville family in support of a benefit begin planned for Shawn Rounsville.

Rounsville, well known in the community for his support coaching local softball, football and wrestling for many years, is currently receiving life-sustaining treatment for a cancer recurrence in Philadelphia.

Rounsville is no stranger to cancer treatments. He was first diagnosed in November 2018 with bowel cancer. He underwent a surgery to remove his right kidney and 24 inches of his bowel. This past January, Rounsville was having back pain, and a scan revealed a mass on his L1 vertebra. This prompted an emergency surgery in Pittsburgh to treat the infected area and fuse his L1 and L2 together.

Currently, he is on a daily chemotherapy regimen and traveling to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia for infusions every six weeks.

Rounsville has been overwhelmed by the support of the community.

“It’s hard for me because I never ask for help, but I want everyone to know how much I appreciate them,” he said. “This is different for me; I’m used to me being the one helping others. I’m so thankful for my kid brother, my sister, and sister in-law Sarah for organizing.”

Rounsville is taking life day by day with plans to take his family on vacation somewhere this summer and enjoy spending time with them. He would like to be able to return to work, and he’s also hoping to be back on the football field with the Otto-Eldred Terrors this season.

The #RounsvilleStrong Benefit will be held on July 18 at the Eldred Township Firehall starting at 2 p.m. The benefit will feature a chicken barbecue, Chinese auction, 50/50s, corn hole tournament, T-shirt sales and raffles such as a kayak camping raffle, a 50-inch smart TV and more.

“We are currently approaching 100 raffle items,” said Sarah Rounsville. “Every time we turn around someone is dropping something off, sending messages, or making phone calls to see what is needed. There are no words to say how appreciative we are.”

Benefit coordinators have prepared for the COVID-19 concerns. The benefit was originally planned for a different location but was moved due to the overwhelming support from the community.

“The firehall will offer people a choice to support indoor or outdoor allowing them to be more spread out,” explained Sarah Rounsville.

Hand sanitizer and masks will be made available to show appreciation to those who support the cause. Tents will also be set up outdoors to offer more areas for people to social distance.

Local band County Lines will perform at the benefit starting at 6 p.m.

Band member Todd Burgess commented, “County Lines continuously helps out the surrounding communities anyway they can. We donate our time, band merchandise and anyway we can help. Shawn is well known by several of the band members for his work with the Eldred community and as a coworker. It is a great honor to help out a great family for a great cause.”