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*BIG team

By Andrea Gable

staff writer

This weekend, more than 300 “extended family members” came together at Bone Island Grillhouse at Lake Oconee to support Madison resident, Rogette Boyer, who was diagnosed with colon cancer earlier this year.

Boyer’s son, E.J., is the kitchen manager at the restaurant that sponsored the #1B.I.G.Family event on Sunday that featured live music at the lake pavilion, food on the porch, drinks, lawn games, kids activities, raffles and a silent auction.

Boyer said the restaurant has always treated him like family throughout his time there and was thankful they came together to support his real family during this time.

Without health insurance, the Boyers are facing mounting costs associated with further surgeries and chemotherapy treatments. The event was designed to provide financial support to the family throughout this trial.

General Manager Kara Fuller said that E.J. is a dynamic team member and his attitude speaks of his family and his upbringing. So when his family was in need, it was natural for his work team to pull together.

Fuller said the success of their restaurants, at both Lake Oconee and in Athens, is based on their team and they wanted to support them when they needed it most. She and her brothers, Ryan and Jody, also manager and chef, began by gathering food items to help stock the family’s pantry. Truckloads of items were collected for a “Pantry Party,” and during the planning, Boyer was officially diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.

That’s when they decided to go big. Fuller said that after being in the area for five years and supporting local charities, the restaurant determined they could put on an event with the help of family, friends and partners.

The #1B.I.G.Family fundraiser became a way to provide ongoing financial support to the Boyer family, with hopes to establish it as an annual event, according to Fuller.

The proceeds from this weekend’s event had not been totaled as of press time. Donations can still be made to the account set up by Bone Island Grillhouse at BB&T in Greensboro.

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