Olympians, celebrities, community come together to raise funds for Jacoby Miles on Dec. 17

Jacoby Miles - Courtesy photo/Trina Jones Photography
Jacoby Miles
— image credit: Courtesy photo/Trina Jones Photography

U.S. Olympians, TV and radio personalities and Hollywood showcase the VIPs attending a Dec. 17 dinner and auction to benefit paralyzed gymnast Jacoby Miles at the Temple Theatre, 47 Saint Helens Ave., Tacoma.

The gala event raises money to pay for Miles' medical and rehabilitation expenses. The Puyallup native and Ballou Junior High School student was left paralyzed from the mid-chest down after she landed on her neck on a routine dismount off the uneven/parallel bars Nov. 16.

The oldest of six children, doctors say it will be a miracle if she walks again, but hopeful she can regain use of her hands.

John Curley of 97.3 KIRO FM is auctioneer for the evening and former pro football player and ESPN commentator Brock Huard is the emcee.

VIPs attending the auction include Hollywood actor Scott Swartz and U.S. Olympians Melanie Roach, Bree Schaff, Auburn's Ariana Kukors, Adreinne Martelli, Anna Mickelson Cummins and Karen Thatcher.

"Jacoby's recovery is going to be very expensive and a long process that will not be possible without the help of many hands," said Melanie Roach, organizer of the auction, and an Auburn High School graduate. "All proceeds of this auction benefit Jacoby and her family for the best care that insurance does not cover such as an ADA equipped home and vehicle and respite care. The goal of the auction is to raise $125,000."

According to Roach, the lifetime cost of caring for a paraplegic individual is $5 million and $10 million for Miles.

Auction activities

The fundraising event includes a VIP meet and greet with Olympians at 5 p.m.

"Attendees (to the auction) have the chance to meet with Olympians, get an autograph, their photo taken and enjoy appetizers." Roach explained. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet all of these great Olympians in one place."

With a capacity for 500 guests, check-in for the auction begins at 5:45 p.m. with a silent auction and then the live auction and dinner to follow at 7 pm.

Items being auctioned include:

• "ESPN Experience" day with Brock Huard

• Sky box for the Rhianna concert at Key Arena in April

• Exotic vacations

• Sporting events

• Spa packages

• Gift certificates for restaurants, spa packages and theater tickets,

Tickets are $100 each to the auction and $200 for the VIP Meet and Greet with Olympians.

Tickets to the event are available at Donations also can be made at the website.


Bios on VIPsU.S. Olympians include:

• Melanie Roach, from Bonney Lake, a 2008 Olympic weightlifter who placed sixth in the 117-pound class, her best finish in international competition. Her combined lifts, totaling 425.6 pounds, broke the American record set in Sydney in 2000. She was a gymnast at Auburn High before taking on weightlifting.

• Ariana Kukors finished fifth in the 200 meter individual medley at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and won a bronze medal in the 200 meter IM at the 2011 FINA World Championships. She also won the 100-meter IM and placed third in the 200 IM at the 2010 FINA Short Course World Championships.

• Bree Schaff, a 2010 Olympian in the bobsled, who finished fifth in the two-woman event. Originally from Bremerton, she won the 2009 U.S. National Championship in the bobsled. Schaff also finished fourth at the Bobsled World Cup in Park City, Utah in 2009. She also took sixth at the 2009 World Cup stop at Whistler and fifth at the February 2009 World Cup race in Park City.

• Adreinne Martelli, crew rower from University Place, won the bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the quadruple sculls event. She also took silver medal in the quadruple sculls at the 2011 World Rowing Championships and a bronze in the four at the 2010 World Rowing Championships. She graduated from Curtis Senior High School and the University of Washington.

• Anna Mickelson Cummins won a silver medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in the women's eight rowing. At the FISA World Rowing Championships in 2006, she won the gold medal in the women's eight with a new world's best time of 5:55.50, and with partner Megan Cooke, she placed fourth in the women's pairs. She is originally from Bellevue.

• Karen Thatcher, silver medalist, women's ice hockey team for the 2010 Winter Olympics. She played for the British Columbia Breakers of the Western Women's Hockey League in 2006-07. Statistically, she led the team and ranked tenth in the league with 36 points (19-17) in 26 games. The following year, she joined the Vaughan Flames of the Canadian Women's Hockey League and helped the team to the inaugural CWHL championship. In 2008-09, she returned to the WWHL and helped lead the Minnesota Whitecaps to the league championship.

• Hollywood actor Scott Swartz, who played Flick in "A Christmas Story". For the past 36 years, Swartz has been acting in films and television on shows such as "21 Jumpstreet" with Johnny Depp.

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