By Kate Quesada

A young Riverview resident is inspiring residents to raise funds for the American Cancer Society this month at a Relay for Life fundraiser at
Barrington Middle School (BMS). Alex Hutchings, 14, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in late December and friends are hoping to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life Team at its “Circle of Life Food Truck Rally” in his honor.

Alex, who attends BMS, was diagnosed with a Grade 3 Astrocytoma brain tumor after visiting the doctor late last year for a suspected ear infection. He received multiple surgeries in early January and is currently in a coma.

The Barrington event, which will take place from 4-8 p.m. on the school’s track, will feature three food trucks, Kona Ice, a DJ truck, bounce houses, games and activities sponsored by the school’s teachers, parents and local businesses. There will also be raffles and luminaries. Admission is free, but tickets for the activities will be sold in advance and at the event.

“Alex Hutchings is an amazing, generous, and caring kid,” said Barrington Relay for Life Team Captain Sumer Regnier. “Our original plan was to donate 20 percent of the profits from the event to the Hutchings family to help with medical bills; however, since so many fundraisers and activities have been going on in Alex’s name, they have decided to donate all of the money raised to finding a cure.”

According to Regnier, Alex’s step-mother Natalie Hutchings has been instrumental in organizing the event. “Natalie has been proactive in encouraging others to help in our involvement with Relay for Life although they are not directly profiting from it,” said Regnier. “It’s obvious that Natalie and Allen have helped raise Alex to be so helpful because of the example they have set.” Alex is still in a coma but will soon start six weeks of radiation. Doctors and family are staying hopeful for this strong young man.

“Everything happens for a reason,” said Natalie. “If this is a way to show others how important it is to live for today and join together for their friend, stranger or classmate, it would make Alex smile.”

Visit Facebook and search “Alex’s Benefit Event” for information. Visit BMS is located at 5925 Village Center Dr, in Lithia.

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Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.