Even if you don’t know Denny Perkins, you know Denny Perkins.
For more than 30 years, Perkins was a fixture on local radio stations, starting at KLUK in Knob Noster then coming to Sedalia for jobs at KDRO, KPOW, BOB-FM and other stations. He worked every shift imaginable, as well as providing play-by-play calls for the State Fair Community College basketball teams and Smith-Cotton Tigers. His voice is integral to Sedalia’s soundtrack.
Over the years, Perkins gave voice to many local charity and outreach efforts, including his overnight stints on top of Thompson Hills Shopping Center to raise awareness and donations for the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund that provided toys for local children. Now Perkins could use a little charity, some kind words and a few bucks, to help his family through a tough stretch.
Perkins, a diabetic, was diagnosed about a year ago with metabolic syndrome. The illness is having a substantial impact on him physically, inhibiting his ability to work or even perform some of the most routine day-to-day tasks that we all take for granted. His wife, Jeri, said he has been relegated to home and doctor visits since October.
With Perkins’ health in decline and his medical expenses increasing, his sister, Lori Jackson, has launched a Facebook-based fundraising raffle to help him out.
“When I first started doing this, I was thinking about something on a bigger scale and Denny said no. He very humbly did not want attention drawn to his condition,” Jackson said. “As time passed, I felt I needed to do something. I thought a raffle would be more low key but still be able to take some pressure off financially.”
The page, facebook.com/Dennys.got.friends, quickly gained a following. With more than 8,000 page views, “So much for low key,” Jackson said.
Tickets for the raffle are $10 each or six for $50. Participants assign each ticket to one of more than 30 raffle packages, which include a Florida vacation, tickets to Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals baseball games, passes to the Tumbleweed Kansas City Country Music Camping Festival and much more. Raffle tickets are available at Dicky Doo Bar B Que and the general drawing date is Aug. 23. There will be an early drawing on Monday for five packages that each include two gate admissions to opening day of the Missouri State Fair and two tickets to the 3 Doors Down concert that night in the Pepsi Grandstand.
Another early drawing will be on Aug. 14 for two backstage passes for a meet-and-greet with Locash, who perform with Chris Janson on Aug. 16 at the fair.
The raffle prizes are great, but the cause is so much better.
“We’re all at a loss as a way to help Denny,” Jackson said. “I am not a doctor so I can’t help medically, and I don’t have a lot of money myself so I can’t just throw it out there for him. What I could do is start a benefit. I have had people send me messages and thank me for doing that because they were feeling the same frustration that I was, not knowing how to help.”
Jeri Perkins said the family greatly appreciates the financial help, but the messages of support that are coming in from across the community have been even more valuable.
“People have messaged him on Facebook, offering prayer and support,” she said. “We just want everyone to know how very much that is appreciated.”
Jackson said her primary motivation in launching the raffle was to lift her brother’s spirits.
“Denny needed that emotional boost, the encouragement from others and knowing that they care about him and want to support him,” she said. “For years he was doing that for other people. I wanted people to be able to reach out to Denny and maybe just give him that little boost to keep fighting.”
Bob Satnan is the communications director for Sedalia School District 200.