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Cancer is something that has touched the lives of nearly everyone in the community. From the first diagnosis, and through the days, weeks or years to follow, regardless of differences, the community comes together and helps in whatever way they can. 

Scott Robart, of Madison County, was diagnosed with cancer in March. The disease quickly spread throughout his body, requiring many treatments and trips away from home. Despite doing all he could, Robart lost his fight on May 13. 

While the battle itself was short, it was still very difficult and has left the family with lingering medical and travel costs.

Those close to Robart, including his girlfriend Donna, three children, many friends and members of the Fredericktown Eagles Lodge, decided the best way to celebrate his life and help his family would be to throw an event. The fundraiser will include a dinner, drinks, music, silent auction, raffles, etc. but there will also be a slide show of photos to bring back memories for some and for others introduce them to Robart. 

The event will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Fredericktown Eagles Lodge located at 411 Burris St. 

Todd Sauter describes himself as Robart's "future stepson-in-law" but as you listen to him talk it was obvious they already felt like family.

"We decided to have a benefit because Scott was one of those guys who would give you the shirt off his back," Sauter said. "People like that are rare. When you find them, you've got to hang on to them. If they need something, you've got to be there for them."

Sauter said Robart never asked him for anything and he was one of those guys that no matter what you did, you could never repay him.

"I'm pretty confident that I speak for all of his friends and family when I say, I'll be damned if I'm not going to try," Sauter said. "When the idea of a benefit came up, we didn't have to search for people. They just showed up, ready to work."

Sauter said they will auction off a deer stand and compound bow at the event and there will be raffles.

"The local businesses have been very supportive and have donated many items," Sauter said. "We're even prepared to have a live auction in the event of any high-dollar items make their way in the door. I feel like someone is going to step up and donate something really special like a boat, car, four-wheeler, side-by-side or an exotic vacation. Just not sure who's going to come through for us."

The event is sure to set a welcoming tone just as Robart did on the many Friday and Saturday nights Sauter remembers spending at his home sharing meals, having drinks, playing cards, shooting pool and telling stories.

"Every memory I have of Scott is positive," Sauter said. "He always seemed glad to see me, and he rarely had a bad thing to say. Sure, some people he liked more than others, but he would generally say nothing than say something bad about, or to, someone else."

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Sauter said Robart had a famously dry sense of humor and his voice sounded almost exactly like Sam Elliott which made him wildly entertaining to be around.

"He'd often begin a story and you'd have no clue if it was something serious or if a punchline was coming," Sauter said. "As a result you would hang on his every word. The more you got to know him the more you would anticipate a punchline, he wasn't serious all that often."

Sauter said he is going to miss Robart and all the memories they missed out on making.

"Scott was supposed to build my dream home," Sauter said. "At the end of the day,  it wasn't about the home as much as it was about the memories he and I would have made building it and enjoying it once it was done."

Sauter said Robart, owner of Robart Construction, was one of the best carpenters he knew and that the home would have been built well.

"But when all is said and done, it was more about building our friendship than it was about a house," Sauter said. "Everything else is just lumber, nails and worn-out tools."

Sauter said Robart was an extremely hard worker who started his day early and often ended it late. 

"Scott spent most of his leisure time hanging out with his friends and family," Sauter said. "His favorite pastimes were NASCAR and deer hunting, both of which were put on hold to an extent while he raised his daughters."

Sauter said Robart was really excited to go deer hunting this past season as it had been some time since he had been able to go. He said Robart did get a deer and was thrilled.

"Inspirational probably isn't the first word that would come to mind when describing Scott," Sauter said. "But his quiet confidence and calm demeanor always made people feel welcome and through that he inspired people."

The "Scott's Fight is Our Fight" event will be a way to celebrate Robart and to work hard and play hard just as he did throughout his life. 

For more information about the event contact Mary O'Brien at 314-313-5760 or at maryeo123@yahoo.com

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Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at vkemper@democratnewsonline.com

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