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Benefit scheduled to support family of Ohio University officer who was struck by lightning

ATHENS, Ohio (July 10, 2006) -- The Athens chapters of the Ohio Patrolman Benevolent Association and the Fraternal Order of Police are sponsoring a benefit from 10 a.m. until the conclusion of the 5 p.m. Texas Hold'em Tournament, Saturday, July 15, at the Elks Lodge on 600 West Union St., Athens, Ohio, to support the family of Ohio University Police Officer Nathan Van Oort. He was struck by lightning and is listed in critical condition at Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus.

Nathan Van Oort photo by Rick FaticaThe benefit will feature Chinese and silent auctions from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., a live auction from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and a Texas Hold'em Tournament to round out the day. Buy in for the tournament starts at 5 p.m. and cards will be dealt at 6 p.m. Food and beverages will be sold throughout the day. 

Items to be auctioned include: arts and crafts, bicycles, NASCAR tickets, Columbus Zoo tickets, lawn equipment, flights from the Ohio University Airport, electronics, sports collectables, sporting event tickets, horseback riding tickets, tools, automobile items and various gift certificates. 

All proceeds will be donated to the Van Oort family.

Van Oort, 44, was severely injured by a lightning strike near Logan, Ohio, on Thursday, June 22. He was participating in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics and was among a group running the torch from Athens to Lancaster.

Van Oort has been an employee with the Ohio University Police Department since April 2000. In January 2006, he returned from a 14-month tour of duty in Iraq as a member of the Ohio Army National Guard. He began his career at the Ohio University Police Department as a communication officer, before being hired as a police officer in August 2002. Van Oort is also a member of the OUPD Bike Patrol and engaged in numerous charitable activities. Van Oort and his wife have four children and are all devoted members of the Albany Baptist Church. 

For more ways to donate:

Those wishing to contribute to the Van Oort family through Ohio Troopers Caring should write out a check to OTC Executive Director Jim Roberts and send it to National City Bank, 1850 E. Dublin-Granville Rd., Columbus, OH 43229. Make a notation that the money is for the Van Oort family or account number 111994191. For more information, call 1-800-544-7948. 

To contribute through the Fraternal Order of Police and the Athens area chapter of the Ohio Patrolman's Benevolent Association, send a check made out to the Fraternal Order of Police with a notation that the funds are for the Van Oort family to one of the following locations:

  • Hocking Valley Bank, attn: Judy Ellis, P.O. Box 4847, Athens, OH 45701
  • Athens Police Department, attn: Police Officer Roger Deardorrf or Police Officer Robert Filar, 11 N. College Street, Athens, OH, 45701
  • Athens County Sheriff's Office, attn: Deputy Jerry Hallowell, 13 W. Washington Street, Athens, OH 45701

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Media Contact: Media Specialist George Mauzy, (740) 597-1794 or mauzy@ohio.edu, or Media Relations Coordinator Jessica Stark, (740) 597-2938 or starkj@ohio.edu

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