AHWAHNEE — Friends and neighbors will gather at The Hitchin’ Post on Wednesday, Mar. 20, as the nonprofit group Helping One Woman (HOW) honors Ailene Nicole Thomas.
Ailene is a lifelong Mariposa county resident and a Mariposa High School graduate, Class of 2014. Shortly after graduating, say HOW organizers, Ailene met the love of her life: Jonah Seth Mackenzie Thomas.
The young couple found out they were expecting halfway through Ailene’s college course and were blessed with Aaliyah Nicole Thomas in 2016.
“Ailene and Jonah were great parents, striving to do what they needed to do to build their expanding family. Ailene graduated with a Medical Assistant’s certificate in June of 2016. Jonah was a skilled laborer, managing his own handyman business to support his family.”
The couple welcomed baby girl number two in 2017: Jaycee Marie Thomas. Determined to be the best parents and providers they could be, Ailene and Jonah were also best friends and soul mates. Blessed with news that baby number three was due in early 2019, Jonah was extremely excited and could not wait to meet his son.
Tragedy struck this young family on the evening of Sept. 28, 2018, when Jonah was killed instantly in a vehicle accident.
“Despite the pain of loss, Ailene stayed strong for her daughters and her unborn son.
“Jonah, Jr. was born late in 2018 with a cleft lip and palate. Ailene has been doing the best she can to support her family financially while grieving over the loss of her husband, who was the family’s sole provider at the time of his death. Ailene has suffered the loss of income and incurred additional expenses driving to and from doctors appointments with Jonah, Jr.”
HOW says Jonah, Jr. will have two surgeries in his first year of life.
Please join HOW Oakhurst in support of this young family, as the community unites for Ailene at The Hitching Post on Mar. 20. Please RSVP to Tokens at (559) 658-5428 with the number in your party, or if you have any contributions or questions.
HOW meets monthly to celebrate one deserving woman who receives the community’s support when she needs it the most. Those participating in the HOW benefit will offer $10 or more as a suggested donation for Ailene and pay for their own dinner. Proceeds from the March event go directly to Ailene at the end of the evening.
Recipients of HOW are always a woman who is going through a time of irreplaceable loss or who has been through a period of loss within the last 12 months. Irreplaceable loss is defined as a catastrophic loss which cannot be recovered.
HOW says that “one woman with $10 can buy another woman lunch. Ten women giving $10 can buy another woman’s groceries. One hundred women giving $10 can really make a difference in another woman’s life.”
If you know a woman who is going through a time of irreplaceable loss, come to the March HOW meeting and nominate her to be the next recipient. Recipients are chosen in a public drawing.
“Remember that by helping one woman, we help one family and one community.”
“The weather cooperated! HOW would like to send a super huge thank you to everyone who attended the event honoring February recipient Yvonne Boiteux! Special thanks to the Hitchin’ Post for hosting. Thank you to the businesses who donated to our live auction event emceed by Madera County District 5 Supervisor Tom Wheeler, including The Forks Resort, Sierra Global Tech, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite and D&P Towing, along with those who donated to prize drawings. Our small community is so very special and we simply could not do this without your support! And thank you to sponsor, Maria Tristan Eames (and her many fans)! It was a pleasure to see many repeat attendees and meet so many new faces.”