A fundraiser for Doehne and Monique Duckworth — longtime owners of the popular Cactus Café in Stowe — is Saturday, June 26, and Sunday, June 27.
The dozens of participating businesses in Raise the Roof will donate 10-20 percent of sales those two days to help the Duckworths.
Doehne and Monique owned Cactus Cafe for about a quarter century until Doehne got multiple system atrophy, a rare, degenerative neurological disorder, all the while struggling with the isolation of COVID-19.
“He’s in the final stages of that battle and on top of the mounting medical bills, they now need extensive roof and chimney repairs,” said Beth Gadbois of Stowe, owner of the Body Lounge, who is organizing the event to help her friends.
Stowe Cider is also hosting a locals party for the couple Saturday from 4-7 p.m., and the Duckworths will attend if able.
“We can all use an excuse to get out and see our local friends and this is a great way to support the Duckworths and local businesses,” said Gadbois.
Monique, and their daughter Seychelle, are Doehne’s primary caregivers, along with help from Lamoille Home Health and Hospice.
Said Nielle Roselip, who has also been working to help ease the couple’s financial burdens, “They have been a massive part of this community. If you know Doehne, he has undoubtedly given you a belly laugh at least once. They have been employers and friends but, more importantly, family to myself and many others.”