Ronald "Tex" Cornelison had always been healthy, until a few months ago when a bad case of pneumonia triggered a slew of other health issues.

Now, with mounting medical bills, friends and family of Cornelison and his wife of 35 years, Donna, are rallying to help.

After becoming sick, Cornelison was taken by Careflite from Stephenville to a Fort Worth hospital.

As they arrived, he stopped breathing and had to be on a respirator for two weeks before he could breath on his own. While in the hospital, Cornelison developed a blood clot in his leg and, despite efforts from doctors, the leg had to be amputated.

Cornelison's passion has always been growing plants and vegetables. He and Donna ran Texas Outback Nursery for eight years in Dublin before closing in 2011. Before that, Cornelison worked at FMC Technologies for 26 years.

"We have a beautiful garden and he sells tomatoes from the garden now," Donna said. "In spite of everything, he's stayed as active as he can."

But the cost of medical expenses is weighing on them. Now, the community is coming together to celebrate Tex, as he's known to friends, and to raise money to help. A barbecue dinner and auction will be held on CR 336 (off US 377 S. towards Proctor on the left) on Saturday, April 5. The auction starts at 3 p.m. and food will be served at 5.

There will also be live music following the dinner, so bring lawn chairs and your dancing shoes. 

An account has been set up at Dublin National Bank.

For more information about the benefit, call Donna at 479-209-2464 or Kathi Bullard at 445-4544.