Last year, Havre Middle School student Dylan Hendrickson was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma.
He was flown to Seattle to undergo chemotherapy. With prayers, moral support and fundraisers from the community, he battled back from the dread disease.
He made marked improvement and was an active participant in the annual Relay for Life program in Havre in June, taking part in the survivors walk.
But when Dylan went back for his six-month checkup, doctors discovered that the lymphoma had returned.
He's now back in Seattle, undergoing more chemotherapy, fighting back once again, his mother said.
At the same time, sisters Tia and Candace Kallenberger began feeling the symptoms of muscle and tissue disorders.
They made trips to Shriners Hospital and other medical facilities, but doctors have been unable to determine just what is wrong. Some doctors suspect they are suffering from muscular dystrophy.
The stories of the hardships the children are facing tugged at the hearts of members of the Havre High School Key Club.
Some teachers told Key Club members about the Kallenberger sisters, others advised them of Dylan's problems.
Members decided it was time to take action.
They started a unique program to help raise funds for the families to help with expenses as they deal with the problems.
Next week, 10 Havre-area churches, under the Key Club's coordination, will put on special programs for people to donate to help the two families.
Most of the churches will hold spaghetti feeds with requests that people make donations for their meal.
The events will be kicked off with a chili cookoff at 6-7 p.m. Monday at the Havre Eagles Club put on the Eagles Bike Riders.
"The Eagles Bike Riders heard about what we were doing and offered to help out," said John Ita, a Havre High teacher and Key Club adviser.
Ita said when Key Club members talked to churches through the Greater Havre Area Ministerial Association, they were very open to the idea of helping the families.
For Instance, St. Anthony's in Box Elder, and St. Jude Thaddeus in Havre, are working together on the project since Kallenberger family members are involved in both parishes.
Churches that can't hold a spaghetti feed will conduct other programs.
For instance, Ita said, Van Orsdel United Methodist Church was already planning to have its Live Nativity Scene Saturday night. So, the Methodists will take a collection at the Nativity Scene.
Fifth Avenue Christian Church will encourage members to take part in spaghetti feeds at other churches and will donate through the Church Benevolent Fund.
The churches will give the money to Key Club members who will divide it equally between the two families.
Key Club members have long been active in a variety of community programs, Ita said. They raise funds for the March of Dimes, they hold annual blood drives for HHS students, they painted Blue Ponies on driveways to raise funds and much more.
One of their biggest projects is collecting aluminum pop tabs from soda cans.
Each year, they raise up to 500 pounds of tabs.
The tabs are donated to the Ronald McDonald House, a program put on by the McDonald's Corp. to house families of people being hospitalized out of town.
The Hendricksons and the Kallenbergers make use of Ronald McDonald houses.
The club members' work has not gone unnoticed.
"The community support has been tremendous," said Jennifer Hendrickson, Dylan's mother.
Bridgett Kallenberger, the girls' mother, said she has been "humbled and overwhelmed" by the work out on by the support.
She said the Key Club members are doing the kind of thing she hopes to teach her daughters to do.
Multiple fundraiser events scheduled
Here is a list of events that will be to raise funds for the Kallenberger and Hendrickson families:
Monday, 6 p.m.
• A Chili Cook-Off at 6 p.m. at the Eagles Club will be sponsored by the Eagles Bike Riders. There will be a $100 prize for Judge's Choice and $100 prize for People's Choice. It costs $10 to enter a recipe. $5 to sample and vote for your favorite.
Saturday, Dec. 14
• St. Jude Thaddeus Church in Havre and St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Box Elder will hold a spaghetti supper at 6 p.m, at St. Jude Parish Center.
Sunday, Dec. 15
• First Lutheran Church in Havre will host a Sunday brunch at 10:30 a.m. There will be a free-will offering and spaghetti sauce will be sold.
Tia, left, and Candace Kallenberger pose for a photo at the Shriner's Childrens Hospital in Seattle.
• Abundant Life Ministries will take up a collection for the families and is encouraging members to go to spaghetti dinners at other churches. • Havre Assembly of God Church will have a pot luck and will have a cupcake exchange at 12:30 p.m. Call Pastor Curt Curtis at 399-0263.
• Community Alliance Church will hold a spaghetti potluck at noon. A free-will offering will be taken up.
• Van Orsdel United Methodist will have a collection, 5 to 7 p.m ., Saturday during the church's Living Nativity Scene on 5th Avenue.
• At New Beginning Fellowship, a spaghetti feed will be held after morning service, starting at 1:30 p.m ., at the church's meeting place.
• Church of the Nazarene on South Dell will take up free-will donations.
• Fifth Avenue Christian Church will promote the spaghetti feeds and will participate through the Church Benevolent Fund.
• The Ark Church is planning a spaghetti feed, more details will be released.