Fundraiser raises $5,100 to help Plancher family

Stan Gober, oldest son Russ Gober and his friend Kim Simmons purchase a 50/50 raffle ticket from Lely football player Jimmy Schuck.  Jimmy along with a group of Lely High School students were at Stan’s Idle Hour Restaurant on Sunday afternoon for a fundraiser for former Lely High School star football player and exceptional student Ereck Plancher who passed away on Tuesday.

Photo by GLENN WALTON, Special to the Eagle // Buy this photo

Stan Gober, oldest son Russ Gober and his friend Kim Simmons purchase a 50/50 raffle ticket from Lely football player Jimmy Schuck. Jimmy along with a group of Lely High School students were at Stan’s Idle Hour Restaurant on Sunday afternoon for a fundraiser for former Lely High School star football player and exceptional student Ereck Plancher who passed away on Tuesday.

Stan's Idle Hour Restaurant

221 West Goodland Drive, Goodland, FL

It might have been impromptu, but people who knew, and those who didn’t know Ereck Plancher, gave from the heart on Sunday in Goodland.

It was the usual large turnout at Stan’s Idle Hour, with folks from all around the country slipping into the Goodland way of life.

On this day however, the crowd and entertainers got together to help Ereck Plancher’s family with funeral expenses for the former Lely standout student-athlete. Plancher, 19, died on March 18 following football conditioning drills at the University of Central Florida.

“A lot of people opened up their hearts for a young man they didn’t know,” Steve Gober, Stan’s manager, said. “Lely Coach Stavro (Giarimoustas) did a great job in getting Lely kids here to help with many aspects of the day.”

Steve’s dad, Stan, announced at a roast in his honor, which raised funds for the Marco YMCA on Thursday night, that he and sons, Russ, Jay and Steve, wanted to do something for the family to help with funeral expenses.

Steve contacted Lely coach Steve Pricer, who was in Orlando due to a serious illness in the family. He contacted Giarimoustas to take the Lely lead.

Stan Gober also became ill and Jeff Hilt, whose band entertained, took over Stan’s role in singing the Yankee Dollar Dance and the unique Buzzard Lope Dance, both geared to raise money from the very attentive crowd. Three 50-50 raffles also went well.

In about three hours more than $5,100 was raised.

An initial autopsy into Plancher’s death, conducted on March 19, was inconclusive. The District 9 Medical Examiner’s Office in Orlando said it will take several weeks to complete.

A visitation is scheduled for 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday at the First Haitian Baptist Church in East Naples and a memorial service will be in the Lely High School Auditorium from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

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