On Sept. 25, the California Eagles will be hosting a benefit for the family of the late Rashelle Reed. With the assistance of several friends and extended family, the benefit will be a celebration of Reed's life as the community comes together for food, fun and remembrance.
Reed is survived by her husband and three daughters, her close friend Kayle Kiesling and sister-in-law Katlyn Zuidervaart reached out to the Eagles to bring the community together during the family's time of need. As active members of the community, Kiesling and Zuidervaart said they would often frequent Eagles benefits with Reed in the past and thought it would be a great idea to extend that help to her family.
"The Eagles Club always puts on very good benefits," Kiesling told the Democrat. "We've gone to pretty much every benefit and after Rochelle passed away, I knew leaving behind her husband and three children was going to be a huge financial burden, so I thought of how well the community pulls together any time that it's needed in our small area and I said, 'We need to put something together for the Reed family.'"
Zuidervaart said after Kiesling had the idea, she would go on to plan the event within a matter of days. She then brought it to the Eagles, who agreed to assist her with putting much of it together. Games, dinner, entertainment and a live auction will be available for residents to participate in as they join in at the benefit later this month.
According to Kiesling, things will start off early in the morning at 10:30 a.m. with a corn hole tournament and a number of children' activities happening downtown. Zuidervaart added on to this by explaining that people can buy tickets to participate in a number of games, similar to what is done at a carnival.
"We wanted to gear it towards the kids because Rashelle's husband has three young girls at home," Zuidervaart said. "Then all of us that are helping have kids, as well. Rashelle has a niece and a nephew, too, on my side, and then three other nieces and nephews on her husband's side. So there's going to be a ton of kids. The meal is also going to be geared towards kids, as well."
For the meal, the Eagles Club will be serving chicken strips with different dipping sauces, mashed potatoes, green beans, cole slaw, rolls and dessert. Afterwards, the night will conclude with a live auction and entertainment provided by BJ Purnell of the music group "Plain and Simple."
"One of Rashelle's favorite bands to listen to with her mom was called 'Plain and Simple' by BJ Purnell; he is actually donating his time and he's playing for free that evening," Kiesling said. "We've been super lucky to have him."
Both Kiesling and Zuidervaart said many important people in Reed's life will be helping run the benefit in some way. One such individual is Anny Roll, Reed's business partner and close friend. The two established California Kids LLC Learning Center and Daycare, serving children and families across the community.
"Anny is handling the kids' games because she has a whole staff that is coming together to help us," Zuidervaart said. " It's great because they're already good with kids and how to work with them. So Kayle and I put her in charge of that because we knew that she wouldn't mind and, of course, no questions asked."
Other friends of Reed's were able to get several members of local government and law enforcement involved in the event. Several deputies will be volunteering to be a part of the dunking booth set up for the benefit as well as California mayor Rich Green who, according to the pair, has agreed to do his part in celebrating Rashelle Reed's life.
The two friends also explained that they currently have t-shirts on sale for the benefit. People planning on attending the event can order their shirt by getting into contact with Kiesling either through her phone number or a link on her personal Facebook page. Zuidervaart said it would be "awesome" if everybody came in their shirt remembering Reed and the life she led.
Zuidervaart said one feeling she's had that she would like the community to know about is that while this is a hard time for everyone that was close to Reed, she has been amazed by the support that has already been given by the community in the lead-up to this benefit. She said it has been very reassuring to her and the family that they are not alone during this time.
"All of the proceeds go directly to the Reed Memorial Fund that has been set up," Kiesling said. "Whether you donate directly to the memorial fund or you donate through (the benefit), it all is going to get there to them. That account is set up for Wade Reed and their girls and however they need to use it — whether it be a few months down the road or any needs that the girls may have."
For details regarding t-shirts or additional information about the Rashelle Reed benefit, call Kiesling at 573-694-3254.
This story was updated at 12:45 p.m. Sept. 9, 2021, to correct Kayle Kiesling's phone numbers.