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Benefit for missing Fruitland boy raises $8,500 for family

The Treasure Valley Long Riders organized a benefit Saturday called the Bring Monkey Home Poker Ride. All the donations will go towards Michael's family.

WEISER, Idaho — As the search for missing five-year-old Michael Vaughan continues, the outpour of support for his family does as well.

"It's all about the family and pulling together as a community. It's not just one community, it's the whole Treasure Valley," said Cheryl Farley, the donation coordinator for the Bring Monkey Home Poker Ride.

This support is coming in different ways, from money and meal donations to the family to spreading the word about Michael's disappearance. 

"We want to make sure that Michael's face is out there for everyone to see and that's why this is so important because it helps bring awareness to people so they can keep their eyes out for him," said Terrie Cathcart-Shurte, the founder of the Treasure Valley Long Riders.

The Treasure Valley Long Riders organized a benefit Saturday called the Bring Monkey Home Poker Ride. All the donations and proceeds will go towards Michael's family.

Dozens of businesses and community members have donated money, items, their business and time to help their neighbors who are in a devastating situation.

"Because it could be us tomorrow," Farley said. "For anyone of us, it could be our family members tomorrow."

"It's overwhelming. The community has come together and everyone is supporting the family," Cathcart-Shurte said. "Letting them know that they're supported, they're not going through this alone."

While the Poker Ride included activities like a silent and live auction, poker tournament and more, coming together for the Long Riders meant traveling through different towns Saturday.

The group started in Caldwell, then made pit stops in Homedale, New Plymouth and Fruitland before finishing the ride in Weiser. Cathcart-Shurte hopes others saw them and it got them talking more about Michael. 

"The motorcycle community is amazing and generous and they are absolutely supportive of other members," Cathcart-Shurte said. "We all come together to help people."

The event also drew help from many community members who aren't in the biker community, like Farley, who organized the silent and live auctions, collected items and put together the baskets.

"I like to help people, that's what I do," Farley said. "I'm really active in the community. This is what our towns do."

The benefit raised $8,500 for Michael's family. Donations can also be made to the account set up for the Vaughan Family at Washington Federal Bank in Payette.

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