SOUTH SIOUX CITY -- A seriously ill 1969 South Sioux City High School grad, LeRoy G.Graham of Zion, Ill., will be the beneficiary of a major fundraising effort by the First Lutheran Church of South Sioux City, thanks to the efforts of church member Randy DeRoin.

DeRoin said he was inspired by the church's recent Parable of the Talents challenge (based on Matthew 23:14-30) and was drawn to help Graham and his family who have experienced many hardships caused by LeRoy's health problems and career issues.

All proceeds from the LeRoy G. Graham Fundraiser and free-will offerings will go directly to the Graham family, LeRoy, his wife Cindy and their two young children, to help with ongoing medical costs. Since 1994, Graham has been afflicted with a deadly strain of strep, diabetes, severe arthritis, limited mobility, a blocked artery which required open-heart surgery, a minor stroke and bleeding ulcers. These conditions have made it impossible for him to work full-time since 2005. LeRoy serves on the Deacon Board and his wife Cindy as assistant worship director at their church, Truinity Christian Center in Zion.

Those who donate to the Graham Fundraiser have the option to be entered in a drawing for a framed oil painting by artist Mick McGinty, a fellow South Sioux grad and friend of LeRoy's. The drawing will be held at the 10:30 a.m. service Sept. 27 at First Lutheran Church.

Until that date, the project team will present the fundraiser, live in front of congregations via a short DVD production, to various centers of worship with ties to the Grahams. For more information or to donate, go to the fundraiser's website at Direct offerings can be mailed to LeRoy G. Graham Fundraiser, c/o Randy DeRoin, 917 E. 29th St., South Sioux City, NE 68776.