The owner of a Carson City bar was never the kind to sit idly by while someone was in need, so when that someone became her longtime manager, Bette Larsen and the patrons of Timbers Saloon sprang into action.
A golf tournament and auction Oct. 15 will benefit Billy Bendle, a husband, grandfather, and bar manager who suffered a debilitating stroke Aug. 24 that left him struggling to recover. After a three-week stay at Washoe Medical Center, Bendle was moved to Carson Rehabilitation Center for therapy.
"He has been not only a friend, but a loyal employee for 12 years," Larsen said.
Bendle earned his living through The Timbers, but had to cancel his insurance when costs skyrocketed after another person's illness.
With medical bills nearing $400,000 and the regular expenses of life adding up, he and his wife Linda, are dog-paddling to stay afloat, said Larsen.
"Right now the only thing that is holding them together so they don't lose their house is private donations here at the bar," she said.
More than once, patrons have filled the bucket that sits on the bar of the tiny Eighth Street saloon. Each week, Larsen dumps it out and puts it into an account set up for the Bendles at Irwin Union Bank.
She hopes the Empire Ranch golf tournament - a four-person scramble - will bring in more.
Entry fees are $320 per foursome which includes cart and course fees and a barbecue at Timbers. Prizes will go to the person with the longest drive and who makes it closest a hole.
Businesses are also asked to sponsor a hole for $100. The holes will be marked with the company name on the day of the tournament.
After the tournament an auction of slot machines, booze baskets, golf packages and other donated items will take place at the saloon where the barbecue will be served. Those not participating in the tournament can donate $10 for the food.
"You don't think something like this will happen to you but it does," said Linda on Sunday. "I don't know what we would have done without this help."
n Contact reporter F.T. Norton at email@example.com or 881-1213.
You can help
To help cover medical expenses and living costs for Billy Bendle, donations can be made to the William Bendle Benefit at Irwin Union Bank Account 65399248.
If you go
What: Bill Bendle Benefit Golf Tournament - Four-person scramble.
When: Oct. 15, 9 a.m.
Where: Empire Ranch Golf Course, 1875 Fair Way.
Cost: $320 per group.
To register for the tournament or to sponsor a hole or for more information, visit Timbers Saloon at 124 East Eighth Street or call 882-8758. The registration deadline for the tournament is Oct. 6.