Military veterans sponsor short stack fundraiser for a tall cause in Ocean Springs

Military veterans sponsor short stack fundraiser for a tall cause in Ocean Springs

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - When many people hear the name Stephanie Lee, the words bravery and strength probably come to mind.

The Ocean Springs' mother of two was pregnant when her husband was killed in combat. The 38-year-old was then diagnosed with cancer and died earlier this year.  She leaves behind two young girls and some local military veterans held a special fundraiser for them Saturday.

People lined up to get a short stack for a tall cause at VFW Post 5699 in Ocean Springs.

"One thing the VFW does is take care of the veterans and another thing we do in addition to that is we take of the family members," said Veteran Don Biddle

Organizers said the five dollar pancake and sausage or bacon plates were to help two sisters who are now motherless. Their mom, 38-year-old Stephanie Lee lost her long, hard fight in February to stage 4 colon cancer. The war widow's husband, Sgt. Terrance Lee was killed back in 2005 in Iraq.

"Both their parents are gone now, one losing his life serving our country and another one to a tragic disease is pretty bad, so we had to get together to help the kids," a supporter of the family said.

"Kamri is only 19-years-old and now she is raising her 9-year-old sister. Just as she is starting her life, she is going to have to take this side road here and take care of her sister," said Biddle.

Despite Saturday's rain, the support kept pouring in for the girls.

"Actually, the unit he (Sgt. Lee) was assigned when he was killed in Iraq came down. We had quite a few people from the Ingalls-Veterans Organization to help out here; Wal-Mart gave us a donation," said Biddle.

"Any veteran's organization I have been to show the same thing, a strong love for their community," said veteran Russell Roberts.

This generous crowd agrees, money shouldn't be an issue for the young people who have already suffered so much heartbreak. Hopefully, today's act of kindness will do some good.

"I would like to see them both go to college and everything, which it could be tough, but with help they can do it," said Roberts.

"Every dollar is going to a good cause with the girls and they are going to benefit from it," said Biddle.

Stephanie Lee died in February. Her life and battle with cancer were profiled in Esquire Magazine. More than $1,500 was raised at Saturday's pancake breakfast to benefit her kids.

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