Author Archives : Curt Thompson

About Curt Thompson

Aaron's Uncle...Gina's brother.

ScentsyHaley Burns is hosting 2 catalog party fundraisers for Aaron’s Journey: Scentsy & Gold Canyon Candles. Both parties will close on October 27th!

For more information about these fundraisers, go to the event notification on Facebook. You do not need to be a Facebook member to visit this page:

Aaron has participated in an aggressive therapy program at the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury (ICSCI) at Kennedy Krieger in Baltimore. He works on a home therapy program ICSCI developed for him. Initially diagnosed as an “ASIA A”, the worst possible injury (ASIA E indicates normal function), he has progressed to “ASIA C”. This means that his body is trying to recover the neurological connections it needs for his muscles to work again.

ICSCI is a one of a kind, cutting edge program, only partially covered by Aaron’s insurance, so he incurs a good bit of out of pocket expenses. Much of the costly therapy and equipment Aaron needs is not covered at all. Aaron‘s wheelchair currently needs to be replaced. He recently had to replace the part of his chair that he uses to control the chair’s movement. Insurance did not pay for that; the cost was $2000. The new wheelchair Aaron needs assists him to rise to a standing position. This is beneficial as Aaron suffers from blood clots in his legs and standing and putting weight on his legs helps his circulation.

Aaron’s road to recovery is a long one and there are no guarantees. We thank you for standing with us in faith, prayer and support of this fundraiser so that we may assist with, and continue to hope for, Aaron’s recovery.

Golf Benefit Update

A new registration form for the Golf Benefit is available on the Golf Benefit page (see sidebar for link). Of course if you’ve already registered there is no need to register again.

Aaron did a great job of answering some of your questions about the benefit. If you were wondering what the “scramble” format is here’s the explanation that I was given. Each player hits their ball, then they choose the best ball, all go there and drop their balls, hit again, choose the best ball and so on until the ball is holed out. So long as you have one “good” golfer in your group you’re good to go. The prizes are “flighted” so you may win a flight without being the best group on the course. And if your group wins a prize, then all four players in the group win the prize. I asked what “flighted” meant and I still don’t understand the explanation, so if you really want to know, I suggest that you either ask a golfer or google it.

The scramble format promises to be a lot of fun, so even if you aren’t very good, form up a team anyway and as long as your team has at least one above average golfer you have a chance to win prizes…and there will a number of prizes awarded.

To reiterate some of the questions that Aaron answered:
– You CAN come to the dinner even if you don’t golf. It is $25 and includes a steak dinner, salad, a drink, and a dessert. The dinner will be served in the pavilion, and the people at Par Line are wonderful cooks. If you plan to attend just the dinner, please contact Anne or Pete (see the registration form).
– The raffle will be held after the dinner at approximately 6:45 p.m., but you don’t need to play golf or attend the dinner to participate. Again, to purchase raffle tickets ahead of time, please contact Anne or Pete. Raffle prizes include a bracelet, numerous golf clubs, and various gift certificates.
– There isn’t really a dress code. The golfers will most likely be eating dinner in the clothes they golfed in, i.e. t-shirts and shorts. Shoes are required.
– Spectators are permitted to watch from the area by the clubhouse near the tee-boxes of holes 1 and 10, and the greens of holes 9 and 18.

There are still slots available, so form a group today and prepare yourselves for a day of fun!

Church Event Fundraiser

chickenbarbequeOn Saturday, May 8th at the Middletown Church of God there will be an event that includes a chicken barbeque, a car wash, a flea market, a Corn Hole Tournament, and music by the band “Driving Vegas”. All of the proceeds will be going to Aaron’s Journey. fleamarket

The car wash, food stand, and flea market will kick off at 9:00 a.m. The Chicken Barbeque and Corn Hole Tournament will start at 10:00 a.m. Registration for the tournament will be $10 for a team of two. Tickets for the chicken barbeque are $7, which includes 1/2 chicken, baked potato, and applesauce, and are on sale now by calling the church office at 944-9608 (corrected!). You can rent a flea market table for $15.00 or bring your donated items to the church and they will sell it for you with all of the proceeds going to Aaron’s Journey. The band will start playing at 11 a.m. carwash

Baked good are needed to be sold at the event. Anyone wishing to donate baked goods can drop them off at the church starting at 8:00 am.

If you would like to donate items to be sold at the Flea Market, your donations may be dropped off at the church office on Wednesdays from 5:45 to 7:30 PM or Sundays from 8:00 AM to noon. Items may also be dropped off at the church office garage Monday through Friday, from 8:15 AM to 4:00 PM. (Please try to avoid lunch time, however, as there may be nobody there to assist you.)

cornholeLocation: Middletown Church of God, 235 W High St, Middletown, PA
Contact: If you have any questions, please contact Jill Habig at 717-566-2646. To purchase a chicken barbeque ticket or a flea market table, please call the church at 717-944-9608.

Pampered Chef Fundraiser

The Pampered ChefFor the month of April, 15% of all Pampered Chef purchases made through Tasha Cochran will be donated to Aaron’s Journey. To make your purchases you can either contact Tasha or shop online (see details below). If you don’t need any Pampered Chef items for yourself but would still like to participate in this fundraiser, you may purchase items to be included in a raffle (stay tuned for more details on the raffle). If you purchase for the raffle online, please let Tasha know so that when it arrives she can add it to the raffle items. All of the commission that Tasha makes on these purchases will be used to purchase Pampered Chef “favorites” that will be added to the items to be raffled. All money and orders are due by April 30th, 2010.

To order online, go to Select “Shop online” at the top of the website. Type “Aaron’s Journey” where it asks for Host/Organization.

For questions, catalogs, or to order directly from Tasha you can call her at 717-982-1685, or email her at

Want to buy more, but the wallet says “Not Today”? Book a catalog show or home cooking show of your own to be held within the next 6 months and Aaron will get $10 for your booking and you will earn free and discounted product.

Here is some additional information on a few Pampered Chef specials:
Mother’s Day Specials
Free Microfiber Towel

Aaron’s Journey Golf Benefit

parlineThe Golf Benefit has been rescheduled…

On August 14th a benefit will be held at the Par Line Golf Course in Elizabethtown, with the proceeds going to Aaron’s Journey. In addition to a round of golf, this event includes a steak dinner, a 50/50 raffle, “Flight Prizes,” and “Pot Of Gold.” To be honest, I’m not sure what all of that means, but the avid golfers out there probably will and it certainly sounds interesting, so hold the date. Tee time is 1:00 p.m. and you’ll be playing in groups of four. If you are a single golfer they will happily pair you with a group of four.

I remember when this golf course was just a muddy field back in the early 80’s because I lived just around the corner from it when it was being built. I’m sure the trees have grown quite a bit since then. Here’s the layout of the course:

Par Line Golf Course layout

Par Line Golf Course layout

For details and contact information please review these documents:

If you have questions or have trouble opening the forms, please contact Ann at 717-379-8915 or email, or Pete at 717-367-2482 or email

USA Optical Fundraiser

usaopticalStarting in February, USA Optical will be holding a raffle at three of its locations every month for the next four months to raise funds for Aaron’s Journey. For a simple $2.00 donation, each person will receive a chance to win an eyeglass frame valued up to $150. The winner can upgrade to a more expensive frame by simply paying the difference over $150. Winners will be drawn by the 7th of each month and notified by phone.

USA Optical is locally owned and operated and has been in business for over 25 years.
Here are the three participating stores:

  • East York: York Market Place/ Beside Red Lobster
    2553 East Market Street
    York, PA 17402
    Phone: (717) 757-5632

  • West York: West Manchester Mall/ Across from Gamestop
    1800 Loucks Rd. Suite 653 York, PA 17408
    Phone: (717) 764-8705

  • USA Eyewear at the Harrisburg East Mall/ 1st Floor Beside CHAMPS
    3201 Paxton Street
    Harrisburg, PA 17111
    Phone: (717) 561-6000

Basket Bingo Fundraiser

bingoOn March 20th a “Basket Bingo” fundraiser will be held at the Elizabethtown American Legion. The $20 ticket price will get you 20 three-card games, and at least one of those games will be a “blackout.” You can buy additional three-card strips for $5 each. The doors will open at 11:30 a.m. for lunch and the bingo will start at 1:00. There will be lots of good food for sale including barbeque, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken corn soup, chips, soda, and more. All of the proceeds from the sale of the tickets and the food and drinks will go to Aaron’s Journey. There will be 125 tickets for sale and all tickets must be purchased in advance.

So what is “basket bingo?” Simply put, the prize for each bingo winner is a Longaberger basket…nice! There will also be raffles for three larger baskets, plus there will be door prizes and a 50/50 auction.

To purchase tickets you will need to call Judy Roberts at 717-367-1110. Also, if you are interested in donating items for raffles or door prizes, or are interested in sponsoring a basket, please give Judy a call.

Valentine Dinner Dance

valentineWould you like to do something special for Valentine’s Day? There’s a wonderful Valentine Dinner Dance planned at the Middletown Moose on February 13th with the proceeds going to Aaron’s Journey.

By the way, even though this is billed as a “Valentine” event, don’t let that scare you away. It isn’t for couples only, especially since the real purpose of the event is to help Aaron. Bring a friend, heck bring a whole bunch of friends, and plan to have fun.

Here are the details:

Date/Time: February 13th, start time 6:00 p.m.

Location: Middletown Moose, 100 Mill Street Middletown, PA 17057

Entertainment: The band “Life After Work” (formerly “Crossroads”) will start playing at 8:00, and that’s when the dancing starts. There will be a photographer on the premises so that you can get that special photo taken. There will be roses for sale, and there will be a 50/50 auction. The lodge will be decorated appropriately for Valentine’s Day.

Dinner: The entrée is stuffed chicken breast with buttered onioned potatoes, veggies, and dessert. Drinks (soda, beer, mixed drinks) are extra and require cash. Munchies will be put out later on in the evening.

Dress Code: There isn’t one, but dressy casual would probably work.

Age Requirement: You must be at least 21 to attend!

Tickets: The ticket cost is $15 and there are 130 tickets available. Tickets can be picked up at the Middletown Moose by calling 717-944-9846. You can reserve your tickets for up to 5 days by calling, but if not picked up by then the tickets will be made available for someone else. If you are planning on attending the “Quarter Auction” later in January, you can also pick up your tickets there from Amanda Hackman. There aren’t any special seating arrangements, but if you are buying tickets in bulk for a group you can request to have a section saved for you.

Quarter Auction

quartersThere’s a new fundraiser in town, and this one promises to be a lot of fun!

On Friday, January 29th, there will be a “quarter auction” at the Moose Lodge in Elizabethtown, with the proceeds from the admission fee, the raffles, and the bake sale going to Aaron’s Journey.

So what’s a “quarter auction” you may ask? Well, I asked the same thing, and it works like this:

1. The $5 admission fee gets you a number. Additional numbers can be purchased for $1.

2. Each vendor will put 4 items up for bid, one item at a time, and depending on the item it will be assigned a value of between 1 and 4 quarters.

3. When the item for auction is announced you put your quarter(s) bid in the container in the middle of the table and hold up your number. For example: If you have 2 numbers and want to bid with both numbers and it is a 2 quarter bid you must put $1 into the container, i.e. 2 quarters for each number you are bidding with.

4. The bidding is closed and the money is collected.

5. A number is pulled from a bucket filled with all the numbers.

6. If your number is called and you bid on the item, you win it. If you DID NOT BID on the item another number is pulled and called. If there are 6 numbers pulled with NO BID, then the one closest without going over gets the auctioned item.

There will be raffles of baskets filled with goodies. Each Vendor will be donating 1 item to be put in 1 large basket to be raffled off.
Vendors will include: Pampered Chef, Longaberger Baskets, Cookie Lee Jewelry, Premier Jewelry, and many more. There will also be Gift cards donated by local merchants to be Auctioned off to benefit Aaron’s Journey.

There are a limited number of tickets available, so please call to reserve yours (see contact information below).

So start saving your quarters and come enjoy the evening.

Here are the details:

Location: Elizabethtown Moose, 51 N. Market St, Elizabethtown PA. (it’s the old theater on the square in E-town).

Time: Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and you’ll be able to walk around and visit the various vendors including the food stand and the bake sale, and enter the raffles. The auction starts promptly at 7:00.

Contacts for Advance Tickets: Pat Hamilton at 717-367-1150, or Vicki Skees 717-367-1027 .

Concerning Quarters: This isn’t a casino, so you definitely need to bring your own quarters, and bring lots of them!

If anyone would like to donate a gift card or raffle basket please call Pat at 717-367-1150.

I would like to add a special thanks to all of the people who are donating their time, energy and resources to helping Aaron!

Ephrata Lion’s Club Fundraiser Dance

LionLogoThe Ephrata Lion’s Club is hosting a dance on Saturday, January 30th, to benefit “Aaron’s Journey.” So how did the Ephrata Lion’s Club find out about Aaron you may wonder? Well, it’s a little like playing the old game called Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, only in this case it’s more like Six Degrees of Aaron Wood. So hold on to your hats, because here we go. Aaron is the cousin of Erin who is married to Nathan Gingrich who is the son of Jim and Karen Gingrich who are the owners of Gingrich Memorials as well as a number of other Memorials including Eitner Memorials whose branch manager is Mike Cisney who is also the president of the Ephrata Lion’s Club. Long story short, Mike went to his Lion’s Club with Aaron’s story and they decided to help by giving the proceeds from the dance to Aaron’s Journey. Whew! And if you check out the “Gingrich Memorials” link on the right, you’ll see that a portion of all sales for the months of November and December are going to Aaron’s Journey.

So about that dance…
Did I mention that it will be featuring DJ “Bouncing Bob”? Okay, so I live in Colorado and have no idea who this Bouncing Bob guy is, but it must be a good thing.
Another very important thing you should know is that the number of tickets are limited, so don’t wait too long to make up your mind. Also, you must be at least 21 to attend.

Here are the details:
Contacts for Tickets: Mike at 717-733-3452, or e-mail Nate at
Admission: $15 per person (includes beer, soda, and snacks)
Dress: Casual
Date/Time: Saturday Jan. 30, 2010 from 8-12 p.m.
Where: Ephrata AmVets Building, 614 S. State St., Ephrata, PA

Fundraiser at Guido McNeals

This coming Saturday evening Guido McNeals, a pub/restaurant in Middletown, is throwing a “sweatpants party” with the proceeds from the $10 donation at the door going to Aaron’s Journey. A local radio station, 105.7 the X, will be there broadcasting live for a few hours. There will be raffles for prizes such as a Nintendo Wii and Sixer’s tickets. Throw in $1 drafts and $1 jello shots and unless you really need to catch the latest episode of Antique’s Roadshow, this is the place for you!

Here are the details:
Place: Guido McNeals
When: Saturday, November 21st
Time: 7p.m. to close
Address: 9 E Main St, Middletown, PA 17057
Phone No.:(717) 930-0466
Theme: Sweatpants party
Who to contact if you have questions:
  Ian Walsh
Interesting Links:
  Phillies Phanatics at Guido McNeals
  Guido McNeals Homepage

Jewelry Fundraiser

Token of Love Necklace

Token of Love Necklace

If you like jewelry, here’s a fundraiser you won’t want to miss. Vicki Skees will be donating all of the profits from a jewelry sale that will be held at the Elizabethtown First Church of God on Saturday, November 14th. For details on the sale, or to find out how to contact Vicki for more information, click here.

Thanksgiving Day Fundraiser

On November 26th, Thanksgiving Day, The Brownstone Cafe in Middletown, PA has generously offered to host a fundraising dinner for Aaron. All proceeds will go to “Aaron’s Journey.” This dinner is “buffet style” and will be served from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The menu will include the following items: turkey, baked ham, mash potatoes, filling, sweet potatoes, veggies, salad, beverage and desserts.

I googled this restaurant and was pleased to discover that it universally receives high reviews. “Excellent”, “Awesome”, and “Fabulous” were some of the words that patrons used to start their reviews. The owner, Keith Matinchek, has been in the food industry since the early 70’s. Ever since he can remember, Keith wanted to own his own restaurant. On January 10, 1998 that dream came true when he bought the empty brownstone building which had formerly been a bank and opened the doors a few months later as The Brownstone Cafe.

The Brownstone Cafe is not normally open on Thanksgiving, but they are going to operate as if it is a normal day. Therefore, reservations for five or more are suggested. Call ahead seating is also available for parties of less than five.
Make your reservations by calling 717-944-3301. Tickets may be purchased ahead of time or at the door on Thanksgiving Day.

Time: The doors will open at 11:00 a.m. and they will seat up until 5:00 p.m.
Price: $12.00/ adult, $8.00/ child
Address: 1 N. Union St., Middletown, PA 17057

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The Blue Room Fundraiser

jackolanternOn Friday, October 23rd, the Blue Room Bar & Grill in Middletown PA will be hosting a Halloween party. The Blue Room’s owners have generously offered to donate all of the proceeds from the cover charge to “Aaron’s Journey”. The minimum cover charge is $5, but you are certainly welcome to donate more.

This is a costume party. Drink specials will be available to all patrons who wear a costume. There will also be Halloween games and a DJ.

The party starts at 7:00 p.m. and goes until midnight.

214 S. Union St.
Middletown, PA 17057

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Scrabble Letters

Jaime's Scrabble Letters

Scrabble Letters

Aaron’s mom Diane forwarded this picture to me. Aaron’s cousin Bill and his girlfriend Danielle were playing Scrabble on their cellphones and when it was Danielle’s turn her Scrabble letters read “Ern Heal”. “Ern” is the name Diane’s side of the family has been calling Aaron since he was little.
All I can say to that is we’re all thinking the same thing.

Aaron’s Blog

For a little while this website will be a way for those closest to Aaron to provide updates on his condition. Hopefully soon Aaron himself will be able to take over and start talking for himself. Each posting includes a “comment” link that will give anyone a chance to add their own thoughts of love and encouragement.

We’re all rooting for you Aaron…stay strong!