Rainelle community hosts unique fundraiser for child with leukemia

RAINELLE, WV (WOAY) – John Harris is the owner and driver of one special demolition derby car.

It is completely dedicated to Izzy Barnes, a five-year-old girl battling leukemia.

Not only is the outside decorated for her, in order to raise money to aid Izzy’s fight against cancer, Harris brought it out to Park Center Sporting Goods in Rainelle for a fundraiser he called “Hands Up for Izzy.” Anyone could stop by, donate and then paint their handprint on the bright pink car.

“I worked at the children’s home shelter for a long time,” said Demolition Derby Car Owner/Driver John Harris. “I’ve always loved kids. The kids are what we have to keep up for the future. She’s five years old. She’s got leukemia. Everybody is all about coronavirus. I get coronavirus is bad, but leukemia is bad too.”

The decorated car will be raced at the Hidden Valley Golf Course on August 29.

The effort being put in to help out Izzy and her family is not going unnoticed, especially by those close to her.

“It’s bringing in money that they need to be down there with her and to pay their bills,” said Izzy’s Great Grandparents Bob and Carol Callison. “It’s amazing how this town has came through.”

The fundraiser has gathered attention from surrounding areas, which are also stepping up to offer support.

“You don’t see it much, but when you do see it, you see it,” Harris said. “In our community, Rainelle, Rupert, Quinwood, we’ve always been a tight-knit community. That’s what we have to do to take care of things.”

When asked to sum up the fundraiser’s efforts, Harris noted that the car says it all, and he wasn’t wrong. IzzyStrong.

All of the money raised on Friday will be donated to the Barnes family.