Mark your calendars for March 29: Gauley River Boys to host benefit dinner for Seth Poling

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Poling with his wife, Erika, and son, Liam.

BUCKHANNON – The Gauley River Boys cordially invite you to join in their efforts to help their dear friend Seth Poling and his family by attending an elimination dinner on Friday, March 29 at 7 p.m. at the Buckhannon Moose.

Buckhannon born and raised, Poling recently made it public that he had been diagnosed with ALS – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease – in June 2017 following a visit to Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

He has been dealing with symptoms of ALS for over four years. However, the burden and stresses of living with ALS have become increasingly real for Poling. Even though his mobility is currently intact, the undeniable reality is that his future may very well have a wheelchair or powered wheelchair in it.

Poling is currently able to work, but that could change any day. The costs associated with ALS are substantial. Medical needs and house renovations are required to accommodate him. This past November, a baked steak charity dinner was held to support his battle against the disease.

At the dinner, the Gauley River Boys gifted Poling with an official Buckhannon-Upshur football helmet. The dinner sold out early, and Johnny Meadows, one of the Gauley River Boys, said he was very touched to see the community rally around Seth.

“The community support shown during this event was amazing, and the Gauley River Boys would like to continue the mission to support Seth,” Meadows told My Buckhannon. “Seth has been an amazing friend and teammate to so many us, and we are honored to have the opportunity to give back.

“Anyone who played with Seth will tell you the main trait that made him a successful football player was his toughness. Number 10 wouldn’t ‘tip toe’ out of bounds before getting tackled. He would lower his shoulder and hit you square in the mouth to gain extra yardage – he always finished his runs like a fullback. Because of this, and for so many other reasons, Seth was a great teammate and leader for our football team.”

Johnny Meadows, member of the Gauley River Boys

“I always refer to Seth Poling as no. 10,” Meadows added. “That was his jersey number during our Buckhannon-Upshur High School Football days. Seth was our quarterback during a very successful season in 2004-2005 when we finished the regular season 9-1.

“Anyone who played with Seth will tell you the main trait that made him a successful football player was his toughness. Number 10 wouldn’t ‘tip toe’ out of bounds before getting tackled. He would lower his shoulder and hit you square in the mouth to gain extra yardage – he always finished his runs like a fullback. Because of this, and for so many other reasons, Seth was a great teammate and leader for our football team. He is a great friend and person to everyone he meets. 10’s toughness and perseverance continue to inspire, and the Gauley River Boys are honored to do anything we can to support his fight.”

Matt McCourt, another member of the Gauley River Boys, said he recalls competing in elementary school track meets with Seth.

“Seth has been a great competitor and a great friend as long as I’ve known him,” McCourt said. “I’ve been blessed to compete with Seth in elementary school track meets all the way to him being a leader of our very successful high school football team. He has never shied away from competition or adversity, but at the same time, he’s always been a very caring and compassionate friend. Seth is an honest and Godly man who will conquer anything in front of him.”

Poling said he was overwhelmed with gratitude.

“I have known the Gauley River Boys my entire life,” he said. “We played sports, went to school and hung out together since we were kids. When I found out the Gauley River Boys offered to help, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and joy … I can remember distinctly while we were growing up that our football coaches preached that we sweat together, lost together and won together. We were brothers through thick and thin. That being said, I never thought 10-15 years later those exact boys would come to my aid in such a time of need.”

The Gauley River Boys group is an official, registered nonprofit organization that was formed not only to raise money in honor of one of their former members, Zach Post, but also to provide a helping hand to community members in need.

Tickets are available for purchase for $30 (cash or check only) from Matt McCourt, Johnny Meadows, Zach Allman, Jacob Bucher, Sloan Baisden or Dee Brown. They can be contacted on the event’s Facebook page by searching for “Elimination Dinner Benefiting Seth Poling” or contacting Meadows at 304-280-1091. Ticket includes spaghetti dinner, salad and roll. There will be a cash bar and $1,000 grand prize, tips, and raffle items.

Additionally, if you have any items you would like to donate for auction or volunteer with us, please contact one of the hosts of the event. Anyone who would like to place a donation may do so by mailing to 140 Hillcrest Dr., Buckhannon, WV 26201. Please make checks payable to Gauley River Boys. All proceeds will go to Seth Poling.