Fall City community works to raise money for Chief Kanim Middle School student battling fourth bout with cancer

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FALL CITY - A Fall City boy who has been fighting leukemia since the first grade recently discovered he would be battling it again for the fourth time.

Boe Smith, 12, thought he had seen the last of his leukemia but had to leave his friends at Chief Kanim Middle School three months ago to deal with the disease yet again.

Residents of Fall City, people from around the Valley and his school donated time and effort to raise money for Smith's medicine and treatment in the past.

They didn't fail to come to the rescue this time, either. On Saturday, March 19, a car wash and bake sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fall City Elementary School, 33314 S.E. 42nd St., in an effort to raise $10,000 for Smith. A similar event held two years ago raised about $7,000 in one day.

"I think it's amazing," said Boe's mother, Jen Smith. "I feel like he's totally loved throughout the Valley by all these people. It's just really neat."

Char Yotz, an organizer for the event and Fall City resident, said people are serious about helping Smith and that the car wash/bake sale will take place rain or shine.

"[Last time] we were over by the gas station and espresso stand and it was a crummy day in Fall City, but we raised $7,000," Yotz said. "I imagine it'll be bigger and better this time because the word is out."

Boe's parents, Jen and Ron Smith, have struggled to afford the very costly medication Boe needs since his mom had to stop working to care for him.

Yotz said a benefit concert is in the works for Boe and another mom is having orange Boe Smith wrist bands made to sell.

"I heard Boe is tickled pink about all this activity," Yotz said. "He's a bit frightened, but is starting to lose some of that because he's getting excited about the stuff that's happening."

Ray Wilson, assistant principal at Chief Kanim, said Boe has been out of school for about three months this school year, but he comes back to visit his classmates every once in a while. The students are always prepared with cards and posters for him.

Last week Boe visited his school, going room to room to visit with his classmates. Some students made a video for him, each one marching by the camera to say hi. They also taped themselves singing songs and doing skits. The students are currently doing a leukemia drive for Boe and another student with cancer.

Though Smith hasn't been in school much this year because of treatment, he has still made an impact on his classmates.

"He's like a little rock star," Wilson said. "The kids are all asking when he'll be here. I must have had 50 kids ask, 'Hey, Mr. Wilson, is Boe here yet?' They're real concerned for him. It's good to see him laugh," Wilson said.

Wilson said Boe is missed at school, and that he has a great sense of humor that everyone appreciates.

"It's a challenge when we see someone full of life like that take this on," he said. "He's a real inspiration for us as adults here, as well as kids. It's a pretty difficult challenge, but tell ya' what, he's an inspirational little guy."

Staff writer Melissa Kruse can be contacted at (425) 888-2311 or by e-mail at

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