If Cheryl Gross could sum up her feelings about Saturday's benefit in one word, it might be support.
She could also use the words friendship, love, generosity and gratitude.
All are ways she uses to describe the benefit, hosted by friends set for 5 p.m. to midnight, Sat., Nov. 4, at Rob's Place, 60902 East 190 Road in Fairland.
Organizers say because of the outpouring of support, people are encouraged to arrive no later than 5 p.m., in order to secure their bid numbers and food before the auction begins at 6 p.m.
Funds from the event, which includes an auction, live entertainment and a meal, will help the couple with their ongoing medical expenses following a July 2017 motorcycle accident.
The incident left Allen dealing with a dislocated shoulder, broken facial bones, a collapsed lung and several broken ribs and Cheryl with a compressed fracture in her back and a crushed foot - which required amputation to six inches below her right knee after multiple surgeries were unable save the limb.
About the couple
Cheryl and Allen Gross are natives of northeast Oklahoma: she from Miami, he from Fairland.
They met the summer before her sophomore year in high school. Marriage followed her graduation when she was 18 and he 22. They celebrated their 30th anniversary on Oct. 17.
Both work within the area - she at Welch St. Bank in Miami as a teller, he as a heat/air installer for Newell Coach in Miami.
They've lived in Fairland for the past 18 years, raising their son, Matthew, who is now 22.
"We've been together for a total of 33 years," Cheryl said. "We've always been close, but I think this accident has really brought us together.
"It's definitely taught us we can get through anything."
About the incident
July 29 began like a normal day. Cheryl worked at the bank, while her son and husband spent time hauling hay.
She said after work, the couple decided to go for a ride, traveling to Eureka Springs for dinner.
"We went through Missouri and got down into Arkansas," Cheryl said. "We weren't going very fast around a curve, 15 or 20 miles per hour at the most, but we hit loose gravel."
Their motorcycle tire then hit loose rock on the edge of the roadway. The couple were thrown 50 feet down a ravine.
While Cheryl stayed conscious, she said Allen blacked out. When he woke up, he was able to get his cellphone out of his pocket and she was able to dial 911 and get help.
Both were loaded into air ambulances and transported to Mercy in Springfield, Missouri, where they would spend the next 21 days.
Since being discharged, neither have been able to return to work.
Allen is restricted until he can get strength back in his arm - and recover from an additional surgery to remove scar tissue. He continues to have physical therapy at least three days a week.
Cheryl has spent time recovering from the amputation and preparing to get her prosthetic limb.
On Nov. 14, she will go to Mercy Rehab to have the final fitting of her new foot. During that stay, she'll learn how to care for it, and learn how to walk again using a prosthetic.
She hopes her new foot means she can return to work in December. Allen hopes to return to work in November, but doctors have not given him any promises
Between the two, Cheryl estimates they have incurred at least $250,000 in medical bills.
This weekend's benefit, she said, is amazing.
"[The organizers] are family to us, not just friends," Cheryl said. "It's amazing the response they've had for this benefit. I don't have a word to describe it.
"This little community here, is amazing."
Outside of the benefit, Cheryl said Fairland residents have banded together to help the couple as they made their recovery.
One church congregation helped with meals, others made sure they had items needed around the house. Others raised funds to help the couple in the last few months.
"This whole town has been a blessing to us," Cheryl said. "It's amazing how this community comes together."
Cheryl admits, at times the generosity is overwhelming.
"There are days i sit crying, saying 'why do we deserve this much care and compassion,'" Cheryl said. "But the generosity is part of living in a small town. We look out for each other.
"The response has been overwhelming. I feel like we're all one big family here."
Since their accident, Cheryl and Allen Gross have become involved with the Downed Bikers Association.
The group, which has chapters in Oklahoma, is a non-profit organization created to aid those lost or confined to a hospital due to a motorcycle accident.
Because of the outpouring of support they received since the faithful day in July, the Grosses are helping to form a chapter of the organization in the northeast corner of Oklahoma.
"They help with medical bills and whatever you need," Cheryl Gross said. "It's a great organization. They've taken Allen and myself under their wings and been there for us.
"The first weekend, probably 20 showed up at the hospital - some people we didn't know. They said 'we're here for you' and 'we'll get you through this.'
"Now we want to able to give back."
Benefit for Allen and Cheryl Gross
A charity benefit, for Allen and Cheryl Gross, will take place from 5 p.m. to midnight, Sat., Nov. 4, at Rob's Place, 60902 East 190 Road in Fairland.
The event is designed to raise funds for the couple, who were involved in a motorcycle accident on July 29. As a result of the accident Cheryl Gross lost her leg during the recovery process. Donations are designed to offset ongoing medical expenses.
The event will include a silent auction and dinner, set to begin at 6 p.m. Participants are asked to arrive by 5 p.m., in order to secure their auction number and get food before the auction starts.
The meal, $5 per plate, includes pulled pork and all of the fixings.
Live entertainment, provided by the Stonehorse band, will begin at 8 p.m. Participants are encouraged to bring a lawn chair and their own beverages.
Members of the Frisco #24 Masonic Lodge have applied to for a grant through the Masonic Foundation to match the funds raised during the evening.
For those who cannot attend, a donation account has been established at Welch State Bank in north Miami for the couple. For more information, persons interested may call Kristy Franklin at 918-848-0317.