Joe B Memorial Benefit and Block Party May 16, 2009
This is a family run benefit in honor of Sgt. Joseph Betustak Jr. who passed from osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in 2006, with proceeds going to a local child every year who is battling an illness. This years benefit all proceeds will go to Michael Koliboski, an 11 year old 5th grader at Beiriger Elementary School in Griffith, IN. Last November, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor (anaplastic medulloblastoma) He is currently recovering from surgery and undergoing chemotherapy.
The benefit began when Joe was battling cancer himself to help defray medical costs that he had accrued during his battle. The family decided to take it a step further and run one in his memory every year to assist a family in need. The first benefit after his passing, the proceeds went to 2 families, one family from Hammond with a boy battling a heart condition, the other family from Valparaiso with a girl on dialysis 3-4 times a week. The second benefit was for a boy from Highland who was battling the same cancer as Joe. Each year we have bands donate their time to entertain a crowd, and we have a motorcycle run in the morning to raise funds. All proceeds from food, beverage, raffles and shirts go to the family chosen.
This year, the date of the benefit is May 16, 2009. The motorcycle check in time is between 9 AM to 11 AM. Live entertainment to begin with a DJ at 10 AM, with bands beginning at 3:45 PM. Guitar Hero Tournament to begin at 11 AM. Bands to headline the event are Lil Betty Ford, Dem Agin and Pearl Jam tribute band Evenflow. The day will also consist of raffles, 50/50’s with prizes of sports tickets, autographed sports items and many other donated items. There is also a raffle for cash prizes with tickets available at the benefit. Food, beer, water and pop will be available for sale.
To give you a little background about Sgt. Betustak. Joe was a Hammond resident and a 1984 graduate of St. Casimir School in Hammond and 1988 graduate of Bishop Noll Institute. He went on to play football for 4 years while obtaining a degree from St. Joseph’s College in Indiana. He went on after graduation to work for the Hammond Police Department, a dream he had since he was a kid. He wanted to make the streets safer for children to play, as he did as a kid. He started in patrol and went on to work in the Hammond Police Motorcycle unit. He decided he really wanted to make an impact as an officer when he joined the SWAT team and narcotics unit. He worked until he was diagnosed with cancer in 2005 in that department. He battled the cancer until the day he passed, actually going to radiation treatments that day. Joe was married to Tracy with 2 young children Ana and A.J.
The benefit is to be held at the Cavalier Inn, 735 Gostlin Ave., Hammond, IN 46327. For more information or donations call 219-933-9314 or call Joe Betustak, Sr. 219-616-2224. Also visit the official website www.myspace.com/joebmemorial