Newspaper article from the Richfield Recorder, March 11, 2019. (Fictional)
|“Murder for a Cause” was the theme of this year’s charity event hosted by the Richfield Knitter’s Club and held at the historic Richfield Hotel on Tuesday, March 5, at 6:30 pm. The murder mystery dinner boasted record attendance, despite the mounting controversy surrounding this year’s recipient of the raised funds.
Stephanie Blaine, a prominent member of the Knitter’s Club suffered tragedy earlier this year when her son, Jacob became paralyzed after an HPV vaccine. Fifteen-year-old Jacob was a star football player and 4.0 student. The incident has caused him to miss enough school, that he will probably repeat the ninth grade. He is scheduled for a second surgery at St. Lukes hospital in Boise, and the money raised from the charity event will help the family during this time.
“It’s a shame about Jakey,” Principal Don Porter told the Richfield Recorder earlier this week in an interview. “I just hope he doesn’t become an anti-vaccine poster child.” Principal Porter showed concern for the number of vaccine exemptions filed by parents since the incident with Jacob Blaine and has had to field questions from scared and confused parents. “I just don’t know what to tell them. I haven’t read enough of the scientific data to have clear answers.”
Idaho state allows parents to opt-out for religious, philosophical, or medical reasons and has recently passed a law requiring all schools and daycares to notify parents of their exemption rights.
The Blaine family’s story recently received national attention in the wake of the measles outbreaks, and the Blaine's have received numerous threats and harassing messages via Facebook.
“We are not anti-vaxxers,” Stephanie told one of our reporters this week. “We are ex-vaxxers.” She encourages every parent to do their own research, and most importantly, read the vaccine package inserts for each injection.
Julie Monroe, the founding member and president of the Knitter’s Club has since resigned, saying she started the group to share the love of knitting with fellow crafters, not to “spread pseudoscience.” The Knitter’s Club will hold a business meeting to elect a new president next week.
The mystery dinner brought in almost $1500, and checks from the community are still coming in. The Richfield Senior Center catered the food for the event, and actors from the College of Southern Idaho’s drama department helped out with the murder mystery. “We are so thankful for the Knitter’s Club for all they have done to help our family,” Stephanie Blaine told us. “I’m sorry that our tragedy has offended so many people.”
A spokesman from Health Freedom Idaho has assured our office it will do everything it can to help the Blaine family, including continuing their fight for legislation that would repeal the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which gives pharmaceutical companies immunity against lawsuits for vaccine damage, or even death.
Our own Susan Davenport attended the charity event and assured our staff that it was a heartfelt example of small-town empathy and community support. “While this situation did create some controversy, the town came through for the Blaine family,” Susan said. “The whole thing went off without a ‘stitch’.”
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