Locals organizing fundraiser for Niles man injured in crash
Published 8:00 am Friday, April 1, 2016
With a long road to recovery still ahead of him, friends and coworkers of the Niles man severely injured in a car accident last month are rallying some community support for him and his family.
Dowagiac’s Irish Spartan Sports Bar will host a spaghetti dinner fundraiser in support of Troy Duis from 5-9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6. Tickets for the event cost $8 for adults and $5 for children, with all proceeds going toward Duis and his family, said organizer Sarah Haley.
Duis was injured on March 11, after a vehicle pulled out in front of him at the intersection of M-51 and Peavine Street while he was traveling southbound on his motorcycle down in Pokagon Township. Unable to evade the other vehicle in time, Duis collided headfirst into the jeep.
The Niles man suffered heavy internal and external injuries in the crash, requiring him to be airlifted for treatment to South Bend. He was later transported to the University of Michigan hospital, following facial reconstruction surgery, according to fundraiser organizers.
Haley is helping organize the event with employees of Dowagiac’s Full Throttle Trading, a car dealership that Duis co-owns and operates. Haley came up with the idea to host a fundraiser to help him out with his medical and other expenses, she said.
Having a brother who suffered a similar crisis following a severe traffic accident — and also had members of the community step up to raise money for him — Haley sees the upcoming fundraiser as a way to help out a friend in need, she said.
“I wanted to pay it forward,” Haley said. “I want to help him [Duis] the same way others helped out after my brother’s accident.”
Haley has only known Duis for a little under a year, meeting him last summer through her job at the local AutoZone, where she frequently delivers parts to his business. The business owner frequently helped her out whenever she was having issues with her vehicle, she said.
“He seems like a really great guy,” she said. “He would do anything to help anyone out.”
Haley will be preparing the meal for Wednesday’s dinner, which includes a plate of spaghetti, salad, breadsticks and dessert, she said. The bar will also be open during the evening, so visitors can purchase drinks or soda to go with their food, with all proceeds that night going toward Duis, she said. In addition, organizers will be raffling off several items throughout the night.
Money raised in the fundraiser will go toward assisting Duis and his three children, Haley said.
The organizer encouraged people to come out the event Wednesday to enjoy some good food and help out a fellow member of the community in need, she said.
“Put yourself in his position — wouldn’t you someone to help you out too,” Haley said.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or ahead of time, by calling Full Throttle Trading at (269) 462-9321 or Haley at (269) 208-8992.