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Twin Falls rallies around high schoolers fighting cancer




Twin Falls rallies around high schoolers fighting cancer


FILER — When 15-year-old Harper Walker received a bone cancer diagnosis, her family did what any family would do. They rallied around her to get treatment.

Friends, family, and teammates from Walker’s volleyball and basketball teams did the same on Friday night at an event dubbed “Hype It Up for Harper” at the Twin Falls County Fairgrounds.



Halle Walker holds an AR-15 rifle while selling tickets to win the weapon during the ‘Hype It Up For Harper’ fundraiser on Friday night at the Twin Falls County Fairgrounds. Walker’s sister, Harper, is undergoing cancer treatment.


DREW NASH, TIMES NEWS

The fundraiser featured a chili feed, live and silent auctions, and musical entertainment from local performer Kaden Madden.

While Walker’s family has health insurance, though that won’t cover all costs, friends wanted to find ways to lend financial support to the Twin Falls High School sophomore and her family.

“We all just felt helpless,” Vanessa Toolson, one of the event’s organizers told the Times-News. “I tried to think of things we could do and how we could help.”

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One night, Toolson, her fiancé Scott Martin, and Grayson Stone — whose own daughter had gone through cancer treatment — came up with an idea.

A plan to help the family started out on the back of a napkin, and the trio ran with the idea. Word spread on social media, and before long, a fundraiser was in the works.



Harper Walker Benefit Event a smashing success

From left, Morgan Harr and Jordyn Quesnell have their photo taken during the ‘Hype It Up For Harper’ fundraiser on Friday night at the Twin Falls County Fairgrounds.


DREW NASH, TIMES NEWS

“I can’t even tell you about the energy around this event,” Toolson said. “The outpouring of support and love for this family is just incredible.”

Everything for the event was donated, including live auction items valued at $75,000, and a variety of silent auction items that encircled the room inside Merchant Building No. 3.

Those items ranged from gift baskets to safari excursions, and everything in between.

Although Walker was in Salt Lake City for treatment and unable to attend, organizers set up a Facebook stream so she could watch and be a part of the event.

A Benefit Bank account has been opened at First Federal under the name Harper Walker Benefit for those who want to support her and her family.

PHOTOS: Hype It Up For Harper benefit event

Harper Walker benefits event a smashing success

Harper Walker benefits event a smashing success

Halle Walker holds an AR-15 rifle while selling tickets to win the weapon during the ‘Hype It Up For Harper’ fundraiser on Friday night at the Twin Falls County Fairgrounds. Walker’s sister, Harper, is undergoing cancer treatment.


DREW NASH, TIMES NEWS

Harper Walker Benefit Event a smashing success

Harper Walker Benefit Event a smashing success

Todd Humpherys shares a smile during the ‘Hype It Up For Harper’ fundraising event on Friday night in Filer. Humpherys is Harper Walker’s stepfather.


DREW NASH, TIMES NEWS

Harper Walker Benefit Event a smashing success

Harper Walker Benefit Event a smashing success

Hundreds of attendees line up for a silent auction during the ‘Hype It Up For Harper’ fundraiser on Friday night at the Twin Falls County Fairgrounds in Filer.


DREW NASH, TIMES NEWS

Harper Walker Benefit Event a smashing success

Harper Walker Benefit Event a smashing success

Amy Schutte mingles during the ‘Hype it up for Harper’ event held Friday evening, Jan. 27, 2023, at the Twin Falls Fairgrounds.


DREW NASH, TIMES NEWS

Harper Walker Benefit Event a smashing success

Harper Walker Benefit Event a smashing success

Organizer Vanessa Toolson talks to the crowd during the ‘Hype it up for Harper’ event held Friday evening, Jan. 27, 2023, at the Twin Falls Fairgrounds.


DREW NASH, TIMES NEWS

Harper Walker Benefit Event a smashing success

Harper Walker Benefit Event a smashing success

Grayson Stone looks about during the ‘Hype it up for Harper’ event held Friday evening, Jan. 27, 2023, at the Twin Falls Fairgrounds. Stone was a contributor to the event and took over much of the cooking duties.


DREW NASH, TIMES NEWS

Harper Walker Benefit Event a smashing success

Harper Walker Benefit Event a smashing success

From left, Morgan Harr and Jordyn Quesnell have their photo taken during the ‘Hype It Up For Harper’ fundraiser on Friday night at the Twin Falls County Fairgrounds.


DREW NASH, TIMES NEWS