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Seadrift community to hold benefit for longtime judge

By BY DIANNA WRAY
March 5, 2011 at 5:01 p.m.
Updated March 4, 2011 at 9:05 p.m.


HOW TO HELPTo donate to the benefit, contact Beckey Gooden at 361-746-4744.

Margaret Chatham has been a part of the Seadrift community for more than 40 years, and now the community is trying to give back.

Chatham, who served as a judge in Seadrift for 25 years, was diagnosed in 2008 with biliary chirrosis, causing her to need a liver transplant.

Her friends and family are holding a benefit in her honor.

"This woman has been a judge, a justice of the peace and she has been serving this community for years. We just wanted to give back," longtime friend of the family Beckey Gooden said. "There have been a lot of people in this family that she has helped."

Gooden noted that Chatham finally retired three years ago, only to get sick.

The family has been dealing with the disease since Chatham was diagnosed. She makes regular trips to St. Luke's Hospital in Houston and is waiting for a transplant.

Even with insurance, her doctors have warned that the transplant will be expensive.

Friends and family are putting together a fundraiser to help defray the costs, Gooden said.

The fundraiser is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. May 21 at the Seadrift School. It will include a fish fry, a raffle and an auction, with all of the proceeds going to Chatham.

Gooden said Chatham and her family have been devoted to Seadrift for years and now this is a chance to give back.

"We just want to show her how much we appreciate her and her family, what she means to us as a community," Gooden said.

Chatham said she was moved when she heard about the efforts of her friends and family.

"I need the help, but we didn't anticipate all of this. I just feel honored by this," Chatham said.

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