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Fundraiser planned to benefit local deputy
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Proceeds from a dinner and dance Saturday night will benefit the family of a local deputy who collapsed while on duty late last year.


Cpl. Chase Johns, a K9 handler with the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office, was responding to a shoplifting call at the outlet mall Dec. 20 when he was rushed to Northeast Georgia Medical Center to repair an aortic aneurysm.


“Doctors only gave him a 1 percent chance of survival,” said friend and fellow officer Mickey Gilbertson. “But that’s Chase. He’s a tough one and a fighter.”


Johns is expected to return to work on light duty later this month, which will help with the medical bills that continue to pile up.


“The bills are just astronomical,” said Gilbertson, who has spearheaded Saturday night’s fundraiser at Dawsonville City Hall’s banquet facilities.


The event, which is expected to bring 200 to 300 participants, is $10 per person and includes a spaghetti dinner, live music, dancing and a variety of family fun.


There will also be a silent auction and raffles throughout the evening.


Gilbertson said Johns, who has three children and a baby on the way, needed help “though he never asked for it. Those that don’t ask for things usually need it the most.”


“We wanted to help him the way everybody helped me,” Gilbertson said.


Family and friends organized a similar fundraiser for Gilbertson last year as the veteran officer awaited a kidney transplant.


“Everybody saved my life. I figured we’d just pass it on and maybe it’d be infectious,” he said. “It’s important that we don’t fall in the realm of cities where no one cares anymore.”


The dinner and dance starts at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door.