Fundraisers set to help Douglas teen who overdosed on heroin

Two fundraisers are planned in Gardnerville to benefit the family of 16-year-old David Philips, who is undergoing treatment in Texas for complications from a heroin overdose.

Two Guys From Italy is hosting a costume party Oct. 26, and a spaghetti dinner is set Nov. 7 at Carson Valley United Methodist Church.

Proceeds from both events will be donated to assist with expenses as the Douglas High School student recovers at the Institute for Rehabilitation and Research hospital in Houston.

"The progress that David is making is remarkable," his father, Mike Philips said. "After just a few days at TIRR in Houston, he began repeating words. Following that he has improved daily, including answering questions, remembering the names of his family members and friends and recalling birthdays of his friends."

Philips said his son undergoes treatment daily from speech, physical and occupational therapists.

"Recently, they have added music and pet therapy. His strength is returning and he is beginning to regain the weight he has lost," he said.

David's stay at the hospital depends on his recovery, Philips said, and will be followed by outpatient therapy.

His mother, Melissa Nickerson, lives near the hospital and sees her son every day.

"His sense of humor is back," she said. "All of his therapists are impressed with his progress at this point."

David had been unconscious for 161Ú2 hours before he was found Aug. 11 at a residence in the 1300 block of Petar Drive in Chichester Estates.

Authorities believe he and three friends had smoked black tar heroin the night before.

He remained in a coma for several weeks at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno before he was moved to Houston for treatment.

The benefits were planned by friends and community members who hope to use the events for drug awareness as well.

Tomacina Hochgurtel said Two Guys decided to donate proceeds from the Halloween costume party to help out the family with expenses.

"We were talking and we realized that we all know the family through Pop Warner and school. We thought this would be a good benefit. This is such a small town, everyone knows everybody else," Hochgurtel said.

The costume party is open to guests age 21 and older and is set from 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Oct. 26. Admission is $10 each, $15 per couple.

Organizers also will be accepting donations for a silent auction at the Nov. 7 spaghetti feed.

Tickets for that event are $7 per person or $25 per family.

The evening includes a presentation by Douglas County's Drug Abuse Resistance Education team.


• Cards may be sent to David Philips, in care of Melissa Nickerson, 2711 Shallow Falls Court, Pearland, Texas, 77584.

• An account for the Philips family has been set up to assist with expenses at Bank of America. Donations may be made to any branch for account No. 501002159115. Checks may be made payable to Melinda Miller/David Philips, P.O. Box 3104 Gardnerville 89410.

• Benefit Halloween costume party, 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Oct. 26, Two Guys From Italy restaurant, 1488 Main St., Gardnerville. Information, 782-4897.

• Spaghetti dinner, silent auction, DARE presentation, 5-8 p.m., Nov. 7, Carson Valley United Methodist Church, 1375 Centerville Lane, Gardnerville. Tickets $7 per person, $25 per family. Raffle tickets are $1 each or six for $5. Donations are being accepted for raffle and silent auction items. Information, Mindy Miller, 782-7550, Erin Eichhorst, 230-0372. Advance tickets, Stodick Park Snack Bar, 5:30-7 p.m., Wayne's Glass, 1432 Industrial Way, Gardnerville, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Information, 782-7550.


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