For the love of Candi#039; By Jason Norman 04/26/2005 When Sheri Lilley#039;s husband Bobby was killed in a tragic accident a decade ago, Candi Williams was right there for her. quot;She was the first

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 26, 2005

When Sheri Lilley's husband Bobby was killed in a tragic accident a decade ago, Candi Williams was right there for her.

"She was the first one at my house," Lilley said. "She's always been right by me."

That's why, when Williams needed a little help, Lilley was there n and so was the rest of the Suffolk Christian Church and other members of the community.

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Back in November, Williams was diagnosed with multiple myloma cancer, a blood cancer. After spending a few weeks on dialysis, the mother of two now has to take high doses of steroids for the first four days of every month and another medication every day.

Her medical expenses are roughly $3,400 a month n and her insurance will only pay about $5,000 a year, meaning that they're already through for 2005.

Lilley and fellow church members Cheryl Ashcraft and Kathy Parker decided to help. First, the church put together several "lighter blocks," small clear blocks with white Christmas lights inside. Over the past few months, they were sent to local schools and businesses, and raised thousands.

But that wasn't all; on Saturday evening, the church moved to King's Fork Middle School for a benefit barbeque, gospel concert and auction to raise funds.

"It's really amazing the community support that we've gotten," Parker said. "I've had people calling that didn't even know (Candi), but still wanted to send money."

Deacon Sam Barboo watched visitors bid on various silent auctions, ranging from free dinners to a few rounds of golf to small television sets. Inside the auditorium, a live auction took place.

"Our church wants to reach out," he said. "It's part of our Christian concern. We give to various events around the community and this is a special event for us."

By Saturday night, roughly $15,000 had been raised for Williams, and donations were still being collected early in the week.

Sitting in the cafeteria, Candi could see just how special it was to so many.

"I'm just thankful," she said. "This is beyond my wildest dreams. I think I'm still overwhelmed by it all."

As the evening wore down, everyone moved into the auditorium, where several Christian music groups performed. One of the last ones to hit the stage was Lilley's band, Hearts of Praise.

"No matter what you face," Lilley said, "know that God is going to be there for you. When you wake up one morning, you might not go to bed that night. You have to make sure that you live every single day."