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Watertown family hosting benefit for Washington family hoaxed by Harrisville woman

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WATERTOWN — Moved by the loss of Thomas Doty, a Washington state teen whose battle with cancer was compounded by the cruel promises and lies of a hoaxer, the Thompson family, Watertown, is organizing a benefit for the teen’s family.

The Thompsons were unwittingly connected to the hoax last summer when, according to the Doty family, a local woman perpetrated the scheme in an effort to gain affection from a television reality star using photos harvested from Facebook pages of Thompson family members.

After a Florida woman, Amber McIntosh, learned of the hoax, she immediately launched a Facebook page of her own searching for the then-unknown identity of the hoaxer. Her investigative strategies have led the Doty family to believe a Harrisville woman, Marci A. Rose, used photos of the Thompsons to escalate her relationship with Johnathan Hillstrand, star of Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” and a Doty family friend, promising a large donation to the Doty family.

Because of the false donation, Thomas’s cancer treatment was delayed several weeks.

Benefit organizer Ruth Thompson Shear said, “We’ve been so bothered by the situation. We had to take something negative and turn it into something positive. Evil prevails when people do nothing. People need to stand up and say this is not OK.”

The Thompson family contacted the Dotys after learning of the tragic circumstances.

“My heart just goes out to them. This could be any family,” Mrs. Shear stated.

“This person doesn’t represent our community. Most people here are good people,” she said.

She hopes attendance and donations for the benefit will reflect that for the Dotys.

The Thompsons will host a spaghetti dinner and bake sale from 4 until 8 p.m. March 9 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles 782, 19260 Route 11, Watertown,Raffles and a can and bottle drive will also be held throughout the day.

Adult dinners will be $8, dinners for children ages 5 through 13 are $5 and children under 5 will eat for free.

Donations for raffle items and volunteers are still needed. For more information, visit the event link by searching “Heal Thomas” at www.facebook.com.

Paypal donations can be made at www.healthomas.com.

In Lewis County, donations for the raffle can be made at the Journal and Republican office at 7567 State St., Lowville.

All proceeds will help the Doty family cover medical expenses from Thomas’s three-year battle with osteosarcoma.

Thomas’s grandmother said the family was especially thankful for the support offered by the Thompson family. “They, too, have been through a lot,” she said. “For them to reach out in terms of honoring our lovely boy, we’re deeply grateful. It’s once again restored our faith in humanity.”

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