Local mom raffles new car to cover cost of daughter’s medical bills

Sharon Olson is worried that if her daughter Sarah doesn’t get the proper treatment, she will become a quadriplegic. The assault Keith Tate rendered on Sarah during a burglary in 2010 left lasting injuries that have worsened over the years.

Now in a wheelchair, Sarah McGuire has been denied, for the final time, social security benefits to help mitigate her injuries. Sarah has been seeking treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

“It has gradually taken her ability to walk, and it’s taking her hands and her arms,” Olson said.

After the federal government mailed Sarah her final notice informing her that her request for social security had been denied, Olson decided she would take matters into her own hands. She started organizing a fundraiser to help cover the cost of Sarah’s ever-growing medical bills.

Olson contacted Jensen Ford; the dealership agreed to provide her with a 2013 Ford Fusion to auction provided she sold enough raffle tickets to cover the cost of the $28,000 car. To reach that goal and to cover Sarah’s upcoming visit to the Mayo Clinic, which will cost another $10,000, Olson needs to sell 5,000 raffle tickets.

Brad Hood, sales manager at Jensen Ford, said the dealership is basically selling the car to Olson at cost.

“It just seemed like a good cause,” he said.

Tickets are available for $10 at various local businesses.

Olson will also be making rounds across town throughout July. She will be at the Corn Carnival Saturday and at Taco Johns every Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. On Wednesday, she will be on the north side of the Walgreen’s parking lot, 5 E. Anson St., and she has a booth at the Farmers Market on Main Thursdays. On July 6, she will be in front of Hy-Vee, 802 S. Center St.

The auction ends Aug. 14, and the winner of the car will be announced Aug. 17 at Jensen Ford. Ticket holders need not be present to win.

Checks should be made payable to “Mayo Clinic account.” Donations can be made to the same account at the Great Western Bank.

The Iowa River Church of the Brethren is sponsoring the fundraiser, allowing Olson to use its nonprofit status for the fundraiser.