In one packed night at Chick-Fil-A, Lance and Jill Fleming raised about $12 thousand for their charity they created in honor of their son, Rex.
Rex Fleming died in November from a two-year-long fight with cancer. He spent a lot of time in Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, undergoing chemotherapy treatments and surgeries. He enjoyed playing on his parents’ iPhones during the long hours and days in the hospital, so they bought him an iPod Touch.
“He had it with him all the time,” said his father, Lance. “He could listen to music, play games and text his buddies.”
After Rex’s death, Lance, ACU sports information director, and Jill created the Rex Fleming Touching Lives Fund, which will donate iPod Touches and iTunes gift cards directly to other young cancer patients in Cook.
“We want to give them to the patients whose families can’t afford them to honor our son,” Lance said. “We’ll give them to the kids and talk to their parents to show them they’re not the only ones going through this.”
To raise money for the fund, the Flemings organized the Rex Fleming Spirit Night at the Chick-Fil-A in north Abilene on Tuesday night. Proceeds from the restaurant’s sales, raffle tickets, t-shirts and donations went to the fund. Country music star Aaron Watson, of Abilene, performed on the patio and sold CDs inside, donating the proceeds to the fund.
Lance was expecting about 30 or 40 people to show up, but the store got a lot more traffic than that, as it broke the Chick-Fil-A record for one-hour sales twice in the night, Lance said. Lines snaked throughout the store to outside and all the tables were filled for hours as total donations reached the $12 thousand mark.
“It was pretty overwhelming,” Lance said. “It was great to see how many people turned out to support what we’re trying to do and honor Rex. He touched a lot of people with the way he lived in the face of what no child should have to go through.”
Lance was thankful for those who donated to the cause, Chick-Fil-A, Watson and all the volunteers who worked at and helped organize the successful event.
Taylor Langston, senior broadcast journalism major from Lubbock, has known the Flemings for years and attended the event.
“It was really incredible to see the amount of people who came, partly because they know the family and partly because they know Rex’s story” Langston said. “There was an outpouring of support for Jill and Lance and their vision for helping kids with similar stories to Rex’s.”
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