Ely Township Hall was filled from wall to wall Sunday afternoon as friends of 43-year-old Dave Tarvainen gathered to raise money for his medical bills.
The part-time postal worker had a brain tumor removed in August after his lung cancer spread. He's currently undergoing radiation, and without benefits, the medical bills are piling up.
More than 200 friends donated their time and money to Tarvainen Sunday afternoon at a benefit organized by his coworkers. With $5 meal tickets and raffles, so far they've raised over $3,000.
"I'm so lucky to have been raised here, and just the people here stick up for each other; it's just wonderful to know that we live in such a beautiful and caring place," said Tarvainen.
Friends also left words of encouragement for Tarvainen in a journal, reminding him to stay strong.