A fundraiser is planned Friday to benefit a State Correctional Institution/Mahanoy corrections officer trainee diagnosed with a life-threatening heath condition that requires immediate surgery.

The event to benefit I’Jahnae Stark will be held at the Frackville Elks Lodge, 307 S. Third St., and feature live entertainment, a basket auction, raffles, door prizes, food, drinks and more.

Stark, 25, mother of a 3-year-old, has been off work because of her health, and event organizers said all proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward her medical bills.

Cheryl Stanitis, food service manager at the prison and among the organizers, said Stark, who lives in Luzerne County, is with the state Department of Corrections for less than a year and, therefore, is not yet eligible for vacation or sick leave time or medical benefits.

“Right now she has nothing and she has a 3-year-old,” she said.

Stanitis said Stark’s post-surgery recovery will take months.

“She will need as much held and support as she can get,” Stanitis said. “Medical costs can be frightening, and a major illness can devastate a family’s finances.”

She said employees and friends are responding.

“Sometimes family members and friends can come together to the aid of an individual who finds herself in the throws of a serious medical problem; this is one of these times,” Stanitis said.

Doors open at 2 p.m. Friday to allow people to arrive early, check out the baskets and purchase tickets. The event continues until 9 p.m., with musical entertainment provided from 5 to 9 p.m. by Sakes Alive and Maggie and the Mutts. Both bands are donating their time.

For more information, contact Jess at 570-809-4033, Jackie at 570-590-6941, Cheryl at 570-449-3297 or Sharon at 570-573-1974.

Contact the writer:; 570-628-6013