Bethany Ellis of Cortland has a close connection with David Tobias, a former Cortland County sheriff’s officer and member of the Cortlandville and Cincinnatus fire departments, she said Saturday.
This includes, most notably, Ellis being best friends with Tobias’s daughters, Mikkayla and Brooke.
With Tobias recently being diagnosed with what appears to be amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Ellis said a support Saturday for Tobias was incredible.
“I’m glad we’re here to support something like this,” she said. “It’s unfortunate this thing happened but it’s amazing that such a small town of people can come together and support him.”
Ellis and others like her came Saturday to the fundraiser at the Cincinnatus fairgrounds to show their support for Tobias.
The event included live music from four bands, food, a raffle and clothing that could be purchased.
All of the money raised would go to Tobias’ family to help support them, said Dean Catlin, one of the event’s organizers.
Catlin, a member of Cincinatus’s emergency medical service unit, said the event was a good way to show support for Tobias, who is an honorary member of the Cincinnatus Fire Department.
Catlin was also impressed with the turnout.
“It’s just going to get better throughout the day,” he said.
“It’s a good cause,” Jim Cornell of the Cortlandville Fire Department said. “It’s sad to see this is hitting more closer to home than I would like it.”
Cornell said that it was sad knowing Tobias, who he’s worked with, has ALS, but he liked the support shown by the event being hosted and people attending from first responders including the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office, state police and the Cortlandville and Cincinnatus fire departments.
“He’s dedicated his life to Cortland County so it’s time to show him support,” Cornell said.
Tobias said it was nice “knowing I have this much support” and that money raised from the event will help his family.
Matthew Diamond, said that the event was a good way to give back to Tobias.
“As a public servant, it’s good for the public to come and give back,” he said.