2023 – Halftime 20 Year Reunion!

All previous pig bowl recipients or their families were asked to share an update on their lives as well as attend the event. The below information was read during halftime of the event. If you’d like to read more in depth updates on these families and see additional photos please click the recipients name.


In 2003 Recipient Willie Funk was Battling Leukemia and needing a bone marrow transplant – Cops & Schwabbers came to life and the Pig Bowl was reborn. A lot has happened in 20 years. After a successful transplant Willie was blessed to watch his four children grow up and he now has three beautiful grand children. Willie now makes his home in Sister’s Oregon. He has been managing the Papa Murphy’s Pizza in Redmond for 16 years.

Willie Funk Family

In 2004 we did something a little different and split the proceeds between Acclaiming Christ Through Sports and our local Special Olympics.

In 2005 Recipient Christian Bagge a Mosier National Guardsman lost a large section of both of his legs when the Hum-V that he was riding in was struck by a landmine in Iraq on June 3rd of that year. Although I was unable to reconnect with Christian, rumor has it he is busy with life in Texas, and in true Christian Bagge Fashion, he was not interested in being in the spotlight again.

In 2006 Recipient Barbara Mann who had battled kidney disease all her life, was in chronic renal failure. Born in The Dalles, she grew up in Tygh Valley and graduated from High School in Maupin.  Barbara received a kidney transplant on January 5th 2007.  She has been doing great ever since and is now retired and living in Tygh Valley. 

In 2007 Klickitat County Sheriff’s Deputy Peter Garland was tragically killed in a traffic crash on Hwy 97 in July of that year.  He was survived by his wife Rocky and thier18 & 16 yr old foster sons. The Pig Bowl understandably moved from Cops & Schwabbers to Oregon Law Enforcement vs. Washington Law Enforcement and a new rivalry began.  Chris is now married and has two lovely children. He is living in Auburn Washington and working at the railroad. Seth is a crane operator at the rail yard in Seattle. Rocky remarried into another Law Enforcement family and they have since retired in the Tennessee Smokey Mountains.

In 2008 Recipient Brandon Walter of Goldendale developed an infection in his upper jaw which spread to a number of his teeth and his brain. His wife Amanda was battling Kidney disease and Multiple Sclerosis. Their daughter Makayla was dealing with a nerve disorder & tumors on her spine.  The entire family is doing much better today. In fact Makayla just finished three years of Chemo. Their son BJ married Hannah and welcomed two beautiful grandkids Kinsley & Stetyson.

Brandon Walter Family

In 2009 Recipient Jennifer Magill had been battling Colon Cancer since 2006.  Jennifer was born in Hood River, grew up in The Dalles and graduated from this very High School at Wahtonka. Unfortunately she succumbed to the disease on December 29th 2009 just three months after the Pig Bowl.  Jennifer’s son Gavin has grown up to be an incredible person and a scholar. On May 22nd of 2023 he graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Willamette University. Next he’s off to  Rochester NY for a PhD in Neuroscience. He will turn 20 years old this month.

In 2010 Recipient Jessy Lyon was the first child in Oregon to be diagnosed with Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis.  She continued to deteriorate to the point  that her family was told that Jessy would be in a vegetative state for the rest of her life.  If you don’t believe in Miracles you should read Jessy Lyon’s story. Not only did she graduate from high school and work for Spooky’s for 12 years, she spent time on her own in Texas, moved back to Salem Oregon, was married and is expecting her second child.

In 2011 Recipient Gretchen McCoy, while 36 weeks pregnant, was called by her doctor to learn that she had stage three breast cancer. Today Gretchen is happy and healthy. She will be turning fifty in February. Gretchen and her husband Jeff successfully run McCoy Outdoor Outfitters in Maupin. Jade and Sadie both attend Eastern Oregon University. Storm and Mollie both attend South Wasco County and both play football, basketball and run track for the school.

Gretchan McCoy Family

In 2012 Recipient Karen Warren was diagnosed with Melanoma for a second time. Despite several surgeries and treatments Karen went to be with the Lord on December 18th 2012 just a few months after the Pig Bowl. Karen’s children Cody and Crysta, both finished high school in Goldendale. Cody attended the University of Portland, earning his bachelor’s degree in nursing then married his high school sweetheart, Alejandra Castillo. Cody works in the cardiac Unit at Providence St. Vincent in Portland. Crysta attended Eastern Oregon University with a focus on nursing like her mother and brother. She married  Wally Walsborn and they have a 1 year old daughter Laremie. Crysta is in training as a medical assistant at Klickitat Valley Health Family Clinic.

Representing Karen Warren –
Crysta & Wally Walsborn & their daughter Laremie

In 2013, for the first time, The Pig Bowl played for two families.

Recipient Donovan Doroski a graduate of Hood River High School did a scan as part of his Hodgkin Lymphoma treatment and learned the devastating news that the lymphoma had returned near his lungs and abdomen.  In March of 2014 Donovan received a bone marrow transplant from his father at the Seattle Cancer Care Center Alliance.  Donavan and his family even had the opportunity to go with Kevin Costner to the 25th anniversary of Field of Dreams on Father’s Day.  Donovan loved to travel and was even able to fulfill his lifelong dream of visiting Machu Picchu, Peru. Sadly, after an 11-year battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, with family and the Love of his Life Hannah by his side, Donovan passed away 10 months ago, November 20, 2022.

Representing Donovan – His father; Keith Doroski

Recipient Kadee Herrington’s Husband Tom was killed in a snow mobile accident on Mt. Adams.  This now single mother of two beautiful girls Dilynn & Jordan also required back surgery and was struggling to make ends meet.  Kadee and her girls were very thankful for the Pig Bowl and support from the Community especially their new roof from Brown Roofing which made a huge difference in their life.  Although I was unable to reconnect with Kadee, rumor has it she is working for the school in Wishram.

In 2014 The Pig Bowl also supported two families

Recipient, Joshua Miner, who suffered from the terminal illness Menke’s disease was truly a miracle. He graduated from high school, but deteriorated quickly after that.  A huge fan of Disneyland, Pig Bowl funds allowed the family to take Josh to Disneyland shortly after the event.  Joshua Miner passed away on August 14th 2017 just ten days before his 22nd birthday.

Recipient Misty Martin had been through a lot in her young life including surgeries as a premature infant, heart conditions and the unexpected loss of her “mom” and an unborn child. Then about a week before her 40th birthday Misty was diagnosed with breast cancer.  As of today Misty is celebrating 8 years cancer free! Misty loves spending time with her husband Derek and their two dogs. 

In 2015 The Pig Bowl was played for Lila May and Tana Slawson

Unfortunately Lila May passed away about a week prior the Pig Bowl and her family was unable to attend.

Recipient Tana Slawson’s husband came home from work with a torn ACL & Meniscus and a few days later she had her first seizure and soon learned she had a stage 3 aplastic tumor.  Following the Pig Bowl Tana had brain surgery and continued cancer treatment.  She has since had a tumor removed and had two more grow back, one of which went away and one of which has shrunk. To this day she is still managing a small tumor. Tana enjoys her family and friends in Goldendale and can still be found working at our local Fred Meyer.

In 2016 The Pig Bowl raised money for two of its own…

Abigail Marble, daughter of Deputy Gavin Marble, learned she had Mitochondrial Disorder at just 6 months of age.   Abby is non-verbal and unable to sit, stand, or walk.  With endless hospital visits the family was desperately in need of a wheelchair transportation van.  Following the Pig Bowl the family was able to purchase a wheelchair van.  Abby just celebrated her 17th birthday and just started another year at White Salmon High School.   She LOVES music and gets super excited when dad watches football on TV.  She always has and continues to love the crowds, whistles and excitement football games hold and can often be seen attending the annual Pig Bowl.

Hood River Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Anderson learned he had stage three colon cancer shortly after he and his wife Heidi celebrated their 9th wedding anniversary and their son Chase celebrated his 4th birthday.  Michael Anderson passed away August 25, 2017 at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital. He was just 46 years of age.  His wife Heidi still works for Law Enforcement.  She is struggling with the loss of her husband and being here was just too painful.

In 2017 for the first time ever the Pig Bowl was played for Three Families!

Recipient Amelia Hutchinson was diagnosed with Burkitts lymphoma; a very rare, very aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  The family is overjoyed to report Amelia just celebrated 5 years cancer free! She is in the 5th grade, plays Soccer as a Goalie, basketball and even starred in her first credited role in a short film! She has never forgot what a blessing The Dalles Community and Pig Bowl was for her and still talks about the time she scored a touchdown against the Police officers. 

Recipient Noah Messenger got off work at Maryhill Winery and while waiting for his carpool decided to explore an orchard.  Noah slipped and fell down an estimated 60-foot cliff shattering pieces of bone into his spinal cord. He was miraculously found 36 hours later by a gardener. Noah is now 6 years out from his injury. Thanks to the Pig Bowl and other’s he was able to get stem cell treatments three different times in Kansas city Kansas. Noah currently works full time at KVH the local hospital in Goldendale.

Recipient Sky Bichler was diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis less than 8 months after her dad Shawn had battled Testicular cancer. Sky was later hospitalized with heart issues and it was discovered she had an abnormal growth in her brain causing seizures.  Today Skylynn is 5 years seizure free!! However, due to her left side weakness, she had to have a neck/upper back surgery done in May 2022 and she will be having a lower back surgery later this month. Overall, she is doing well and never lets anything hold her back. 

In 2018 the Pig Bowl again supported three families

Recipient Elijah Pishion was a healthy baseball playing 6 year old one day and the next day on his brother Noah’s 9th birthday he woke up with swollen eyes and face. Eventually Elijah was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome; a rare kidney disease. Elijah has been off all meds for about 2 years and is doing great. This January Elijah got really sick and had to be admitted to Doernbecher but it was not kidney related and his kidneys actually handled it very well so his kidney doctor is optimistic about how he’s doing.  He currently only needs check ups once a year. 

Recipient Jase Gibson was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma on the day he turned 4 months old after the biopsy was taken from the mass next to his lung.  This stage 2 cancer was inoperable and would require chemo therapy.  Jase and his twin sister violet just turned 6 years old a couple weeks ago and just started Kindergarten! Jase loves to ride his dirt bike and his horse, and is obsessed with anything sports related.  This year he gets to play flag football, and he loves it. Jase will go see his oncologist next week for what they hope will be his last appointment!

Recipient Angela Zapien who required CPR moments after an emergency caesarean started having seizures at just 3 days old and was soon diagnosed with a rare genetic mutation, cerebral palsy, Cortical Visual impairment and acid reflux.  Angela is now 11 years old and has started attending school again.  Her seizures are much less frequent and she is now able to focus and pay attention to people and things around her.  Angela is one of the happiest little girls you will ever meet.

Angela Zapien Family

In 2019 the Pig Bowl again supported three families

Recipient Brynlynn Macnab was born premature at just 23 weeks and 6 days. She weighed just 1lb 8 oz.  She made it home from the NICU six and a half months later, just two weeks after her original due date.  Still battling chronic lung disease and detached retinas Brynlnn keeps amazing everyone with her strength.  Brynlnn is now four and half years old attending Preschool and has been enjoying Tap, Jazz and Gymnastics dance classes. One Neonatologist who followed Brynlynn was quoted saying, “your daughter and how she has persevered through the NICU and her outcome today makes me think about how I counsel parents of micropreemies.” She truly is a human miracle.

Recipient Christian Rowan originally a twin was also born prematurely. After not gaining any weight Christian ended up in Seattle Children’s hospital where it was determined he was the youngest child ever to have symptoms of a rare genetic mutation known as CTLA4.  After needing a feeding tube for much of his infant life, Christian is thriving daily but is still not growing as much as the doctors would like. They want to get his bone marrow transplant on the books for the next year or so.

Recipient Courtney Erikson was born with Cystic Fibrosis a genetic disease of the lungs, digestive system and pancreas. At the time of the Pig Bowl her lung capacity was only 20%.  She was later the lucky recipient of a double lung transplant on Dec 19, 2019 in Phoenix, AZ.    Courtney had many ups and downs over the last 3 years, but lived life to the fullest.  Unfortunately Courtney passed from this earthly world after a short courageous battle with rejection on Feb 5, 2023. Today would have been Courtney’s 28th birthday. Thank you to everyone who attended her memorial service today in Parkdale.  As Courtney would say “Today is a good day”.

Representing Courtney Erickson –
Dad “Ty”, Mom “LeAnn”, & Sister “Laney”

The Pig Bowl was canceled in 2020 due to COVID restrictions

In 2021 The Pig Bowl was played for two families

Three year old Recipient Ezra Blue Duckwall started getting sick on a weekly basis, then began losing his balance and eyesight.  An MRI revealed an egg size tumor on his brain. Ezra was then diagnosed with Medulloblastoma; a particularly aggressive and malignant cancer. Ezra’s 5th birthday party included a Make-A-Wish day at the zoo.  Sadly Ezra passed away on November 12th, 2022.  The family started a non-profit called “Ezra Blue’s Flight for Cancer” and recently hosted a run/walk fundraiser on what would have been his 6th birthday. The funds we raised went to pediatric brain cancer research.

Recipient Maleigha Barrett was diagnosed with bilateral hearing loss at just 3 weeks old, then at just three months old was diagnosed with Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. The Barrett’s families biggest need was a new wheelchair accessible van to get Maleigha to and from her surgeries and other appointments.  Thanks in part to the Pig Bowl that van became a reality. Maleigha absolutely loves riding in the van whether going to one of many softball tournaments or taking trips to the beach.  Maleigha recently had the joy of riding up front in the passenger seat for the first time.  Although I think she enjoys the comfort of the center of the vehicle with her cartoons playing on the DVD player

Last year’s Pig Bowl Recipient Faalelei Niko is still patiently waiting for a kidney transplant.  Thanks to the Pig Bowl community many people have checked to see if they are a match. Lei’s kidney transplant team has notified her of potential donors, but unfortunately getting these donors into appointments for further testing has been difficult.  Let’s all go get tested for Lei!

All of these past recipients are very thankful for the Pig Bowl and I simply didn’t have time to read every single thing written, but I was able to share a quote from Misty Martin that seems to sum it up for everyone…

“Being a past recipient meant so much to me and my husband.  Having the emotional and financial support of the community made such a positive impact in our lives. I want to thank everyone that is supporting the 2023 Pig Bowl recipients tonight, you are amazing, thank you for being here.”

After a few moments of silence to remember those Pig Bowl recipients that have gone before us, Oregon State Trooper George Economu brought everyone to tears with Amazing Grace on the bag pipes.