A diagnosis of cancer often begins a long physical and emotional journey. The journey also often becomes a family experience because it changes the lives of everyone involved in that person’s life.
Cancer is a life-changing experience. Local resident Andy Petty, of Farmington, was recently diagnosed with cancer in several areas of his body. He will be undergoing daily treatments in St. Louis five days a week for at least the next three months.
Petty is pastor of The Shepherds House in Desloge. He and his wife, Sharon (Murphy) Petty, have five children: son Kevin and wife Melissa, daughter Keri McCrorey and husband Mike, son Keith and wife Marsha, daughter Kim Robertson and husband Don, and daughter Kirstel Jones. They also have nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
He began his ministry in a small building in Leadington in 1973. In 1975, the ministry moved to the old Methodist church on Jackson Street in Esther. It was then when Esther Pentecostal Church of God was founded. In 1982, the church joined the Assemblies of Good, and the name of the church changed to the Mineral Area Assembly of God.
Petty attended Esther High School and was named the All-Around Athlete of the Year in 1966. He played basketball and played the position of third base in baseball. He also ran track as an Esther Pirate and took third place at state in the long jump with a 21-foot six-inch jump.
In the late 1970s, Petty served on the Central School Board. Over the years, he also coached several baseball, girls and boys basketball, and softball teams in Park Hills.
Petty has impacted the life of many young people over the years.
“As we know, this can put a huge financial strain on the family, in addition to the emotional and physical strain that cancer brings,” said Rev. Shannon Sansoucie, friend of the family. “This fundraiser is to help Andy and his family with the cost of traveling back and forth and to help with any financial needs as they come up.”
Sansoucie, a resident of Bonne Terre, decided to organize a fundraising event to assist Petty and his family. This special event is set for Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the St. Francois County Fairgrounds in Farmington. The silent auction ends at 4 p.m. Admission to the event is free.
Several local businesses, vendors and crafters will be set up at the event. Some of the items sold by vendors will include homemade jams and pickles, wreaths, soaps, upscale purses, T-shirts, tumblers, Avon products, kids’ boutique items, Color Street nails, acrylic painting and pouring, various antiques and collectibles, quilts, Juice Plus, resin art, spices, jerky, handcrafted jewelry, scrunchies, pillowcase dresses, and more.
There will be a silent auction with more than 50 items which include an original Michael Kors purse, freshwater pearls, Tiffany bag with jewels, barbecue grill, ceramic birds, Ashley pillows, handcrafted marble fan pull, leather wallet, Express Lube oil change, Juice Plus basket, crocheted blanket, Rijo’s $40 gift card, macarons gift certificate, axe throwing for six certificate, salsa basket, POW blanket, Cardinals tumbler, lighted embroidery snowman, $150 Kissy Portraits certificate, tractor wreath, socket set, Hamilton Beach cooker, coffee-themed basket, grilling tool set, Avon basket, Bath and Body Works set, mini muffin baker, and many more high-quality items.
Each vendor also donated at least one item to the silent auction.
Blacksmith Lisa Thompson, of The Farrier’s Wife Blacksmith Shop, will do demonstrations and sell products. Leathersmith Nick Smotherman, of Rockin’ K Leather, will also do demonstrations and sell products. Paige Beard, of Events Studio, will do simple spring photos for $5 each and send images via text or through an app. Kim Lewis, of Final Finish Painting, will donate all of her proceeds from sales at the event to Petty.
Three food trucks including Musthave Macarons +More, QuesoJitas and Roxy’s Hot Grill, will be onsite.
According to Sansoucie, vendors paid a $25 fee per table to set up at the event. All of those funds and money earned from the silent auction will be given to Petty. In addition, a donation box for Petty will be available at the venue.
Sansoucie said Petty and wife Sharon have been in her life for many years. They have been good friends with her parents, Carol and the late Abby Kohut, for years.
Petty officiated the marriage of Sansoucie and husband Kirby in 2009. The couple have six children and five grandchildren.
“Pastor Andy and Sharon have been prayer warriors for my entire family,” she said. “When I rededicated my life to the Lord over three years ago, he welcomed me to his church with open arms and has always been there to help me and my family.”
Under Petty’s guidance, Sansoucie became an ordained minister. Although she doesn’t currently pastor full-time, she has done a few sermons.
“My calling is to reach people outside of the church,” she said, “in the streets, jails, prisons, the addicts, homeless and young people who just need someone to show them a better way in life through Jesus Christ.”
Sansoucie said Petty “has a heart for people.”
“He has spiritually guided many people to the Lord,” she said. “He has organized helping families at Thanksgiving and Christmas time to ensure families in need had a good holiday.”
Sansoucie added, “The Lord placed this on my heart to help the Petty family, and hopefully the community will come out to support an amazing man of God.”
There is still room for more vendors at the event, and additional items for the silent auction are needed. Anyone who would like to do either or make a monetary donation to Petty should call Shannon Sansoucie at 573-430-6067.
Pam Clifton is a contributing writer for the Daily Journal