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Scam Targets “Thumbs Up For Lane” Foundation

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Lane Goodwin was the biggest of Cardinal fans.  His fight with cancer inspired the Cardinals themselves during the 2012 playoffs.  In the days since the 13 year old Kentucky boy's death in October, Lane's family has become the target of a scam.
It may turn out to be a blessing.  It almost seems like Lane has something to do with that.
It seems like a great idea:  a rodeo in Lane's memory, to benefit the cause he cared so much about:  raising awareness of childhood cancers in the hope of finding cures.  His family started "Thumbs Up for Lane Foundation" to achieve that goal. 
A woman from Illinois contacted the Lone Star Rodeo Company about having a benefit rodeo, saying she was from the "Thumbs Up" foundation, saying she already had sponsors lined up.  She had official looking fliers and sponsor donation forms.  Trouble is Lane's family didn't know the woman.  They didn't know about the rodeo either. 
It turns out, Lane was named for famed rodeo rider, Lane Frost, who died tragically during a competition after a bull gored him in 1989.
Lane Goodwin's courageous battle and his love of the Cardinals made him a household name in St. Louis.  The Cardinals, themselves, joined his cause:  giving "thumbs up" for Lane in photos and videos;  national anthem singers during the playoff games would give a "thumbs up" after performing.
So, when someone approached Matt McGee, of Lone Star Rodeo, about the "Thumbs Up" rodeo benefit, he was all for it.  McGee, like Lane, is a Cardinal fan.
"She’s like, 'the thumbs up'.  I said, 'yeah, you know we’ve seen that on the news'," McGee recalled of his initial conversation with the woman.  "We thought, 'that’s a great idea'."
"We did not know this individual at all," Lane's mother, Angie Goodwin, told Fox 2.  "[But] we just keep going.  That’s what Lane would have wanted us to do."
When McGee contacted Lane's family about the event, he realized the organizer who first called him had no connection to the family or the foundation;  any sponsorship money she may have collected was gone.
A solution has come from the story began in St. Louis:  the fans who made Lane's cause known, taking signs saying "Thumbs Up for Lane" to Cardinals playoff games to post pictures of support on Lane's Facebook page.
One of them, Shawn Kohrs, of St. Charles, even painted messages of support on his truck, and drove to Kentucky to meet Lane and his family.
He's now working with the rodeo to sell tickets and sponsorships to go on with the show.
"When someone uses someone else’s kid, especially when their child just died a month and a half ago, that’s unheard of," Kohrs said, who works at GM, but now volunteers for the foundation.
"That’s kind of part of being a cowboy.  You stand up for what you believe in; hold true to your values.  We just feel like this is the right thing to do is to make it happen," McGee said. 
The two Lanes ride on.
"This would definitely be [Lane's] thing.  He loved adventure.  This child didn’t have any fear.  He'll be right there with us," said Angie Goodwin.
"I think we have an angel looking out for us.  It’s going to make it happen.  I think it’s going to be a great success.  I can see this place being full,"
The rodeo is Saturday night, January 5th at Family Arena in St. Charles. One half of all sponsorship money and dollar from every ticket sold will go to the foundation. 
For tickets & sponsorship information:   http://metrotix.com/r.php?
Follow me on Twitter:  @andybankertv
FaceBook:  Andy Banker on Fox 2
EMail:  Andy.Banker@tvstl.com
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