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Fundraiser draws 750
An estimated 750 persons turned out for Saturday's spaghetti dinner fundraiser to benefit the family of a Ceres police officer.

"It was crazy, it was awesome turnout," said Carrie Smith, one of the organizers of the event at Sam's Café, 3052 Fifth Street. "Some people came from as far away as Seattle and L.A."

The city gave permission for the block to be closed to accommodate the crowds that turned out for three hours to assist the family of Ceres police officer Brian Peterson cover medical bills incurred by stepson, Jordan Stilwell, 10. Jordan, who has autism, fell seriously ill on Jan. 31. He is being hospitalized at U.C. Davis Children's Hospital in Sacramento where he is battling fevers and an irregular heartbeat. Doctors are awaiting a "pseudo cyst" on his pancreas to develop a thicker "skin" in order to operate, probably within five weeks. They also expect to remove his gall bladder, said Smith.

Jordan is the son of Oakdale Police Officer Don Stilwell, and Sherrill and Brian Petersen. Sherrill Peterson is the owner of Sam's Café.

The event featured a bake sale, silent auction, T-shirt sales, a country western band and face painting.

The public may also donate to the Jordan Stilwell Benefit Fund (account #029606178) which has been established at Bank of the West on Whitmore Avenue in Ceres.