Congdon’s After Dark, New England’s first food truck park, will host a fundraiser on Sunday for My Pal Spencer, which funds research for Sanfilippo Syndrome—a rare and fatal genetic disease afflicting a local family.
Spencer Smith, the 4-year-old son of Wells native Nathan Smith and his wife Alli, suffers from Sanfilippo Syndrome, also known as Children’s Alzheimer’s. The disease gradually diminishes brain function and most children die before they are teenagers. There is no cure, nor is there any treatment to help mitigate its devastating effects.
The Smiths said the only chance to save Spencer’s life is through an experimental clinical trial, but $1 million must be raised to fund the research. They have set a goal of raising $500,000 for the research, but still have a ways to go.
“At just two years old, our beautiful son, Spencer, was diagnosed with Sanfilippo Syndrome. It’s a cruel disease and takes your child away from you right in front of your eyes. Who could even imagine a disease like this even existed? Spencer is in the fight for his life and the race is on. We know this. This disease is working on his brain every second,” said Nathan Smith. “Our family has been so blessed with all of the love and support we have received from the Wells community as we continue to navigate this journey.”
The fundraiser will take place from 4-9 p.m. on Sunday, June 2nd at Congdon’s After Dark food truck park at 1100 Post Road in Wells, Maine. Additional parking will be available behind Aubuchon Hardware and the Wells Auto Museum.
Ten food trucks will donate 25-100% of their proceeds to My Pal Spencer, including Tasting Maine, What-A-Wrap, Palms to Pines, Tripp’s Farmhouse Café, MacDaddy’s Seafood & Tots, Fahrenheit 225, Crescent City Kitchen, Knew Potato Caboose, Big Grampa’s Grill, and Congdon’s Doughnuts.
Congdon’s After Dark opened the 2019 season with a fundraiser that helped raise more than $14,000 for the Animal Welfare Society in Kennebunk, and plans to do more fundraisers during the season. The food truck park operates in the parking lot of Congdon’s Doughnuts Family Restaurant & Bakery on Route One in Wells.
Congdon’s owner Gary Leech said Spencer’s father, Nathan, grew up in the same neighborhood as his family, and the Leech family wanted to do whatever it could to for Spencer.
“We know how much this family is suffering and we wanted to find a way to help,” said Leech. “When you read about what this disease does to children and their families – it’s just horrible. The local community has always come out to help their own and we know they’ll do the same for Spencer.”
The Wells High School wrestling team will also help with the event. Coach Scott Lewia and his team have been very active in raising money for Spencer, whose dad was a standout wrestler in high school.
The event will also include games and prizes, giveaways, and other sources of family fun.
Barreled Souls Brewing Company will also be donating beer to be served in the park’s beer garden. Other businesses donating to the event include Shields Meats & Produce, Lamb & Wesson, Favorite Foods, and Lepage Bakery.
Those who cannot attend the event can make a donation at MyPalSpencer.com.
Pets are welcome in the park, but must remain on leashes at all times.