by Josh Carpenter

SHERRILLS FORD – Conner Pharr was born in July 2010 with two holes in his heart and Down syndrome. He’s also hearing impaired.

His mother, Jennifer, is on a leave of absence as a second-grade teacher to spend more time with him while his father, Chris, will return to Afghanistan later this year as part of the U.S. military. Conner Pharr also has two small siblings, Isabella and Brooklyn.

To help raise money for the Pharr family, Horsefeathers Roadhouse, 3746 Mrt. Pleasant Road, is holding a benefit on June 11 at 10 a.m. The all-day event (until 2 a.m.) will feature an in-house poker run, progressive cornhole tournament, auction and raffle. One hand in the poker run will cost $10, and three hands will cost $25.

“We heard about the financial problems the family was having and contacted them,” Tim Anderton, who’s helping organize the event, said.

Now 10 months old, Pharr is recovering from open-heart surgery. He attends therapy sessions on a daily basis.

The benefit will help pay for uninsured expenses the family has taken on.

“Our posture is that if we can help someone out – particularly in the community – we’re happy to do it,” Anderton said. “It’s a very close community and one that really tries to take care of one another.”

Horsefeathers also has arrange to have musicions play all day, and visitors can purchase barbecue. Anderton said that planning for the event has been going on for nearly three months, and if it’s anything like previous benefits, there should be a huge turnout.

“Our charitable events in the past have been somewhat shocking to me as to how much participation we get and how much goodwill is extended,” Anderton said.

“Everybody kind of knows everybody, so we hear about something, and it just takes off from there.”

Brunch will be served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by the poker run, auction and cornhole tournament.

“We don’t have any specific plans for right now to help them out in the future. We’ll just have to see how he’s doing,” Anderton said. “We’re sure going to keep our eye on this little guy, though. He is making progress – it’s not dramatic progress – but he’s doing better.”