By JOSHUA STRALEY

Staff Writer 

PAYNE – You can easily miss the Good Times Saloon when driving through Payne. With only a Miller Lite sign hanging in the window and the occasional chalkboard out front declaring the days specials, the village’s go-to social hub can be hard to spot for Paulding County residents––let alone outsiders.

All of which makes the chance of three out-of-town employees finding their way in for lunch, seeing a flyer and planning a spur of the moment fundraiser for an extraordinary cause so unlikely. 

Yet in early August, that is exactly what happened. 

When Kiewit Power project engineer Laura Karoly and her peer Scott Kurns walked into the Good Times Saloon and saw Team Terel flyers on the front door and in the bathroom, they knew they wanted to do something to help Terel Dias fight her stage four breast cancer. 

At the time, Amanda Morehead, owner of Good Times, where Terel had once worked, was doing all she could to encourage her close friend. Because Terel was so close to Morehead’s children, she encouraged them to write letters to Terel, detailing their favorite memories with her. 

“When I found out the severity of her condition I was devastated,” Morehead said. “I was angry for her. Not understanding why her.” 

On her own, Morehead said she had raised $2,000 through a donation jar sitting on the saloon’s bar.

Eager to help, Karoly and Kurns began to organize a pair of dinners at Good Times with members of the Kiewit Power and sub-contractor Miller Bros. Constructions, from Archbold, to benefit Team Terel. 

“It really struck a cord hearing about a family going through that,” Karoly said. “Everyone immediately wanted to help.”

Mark Rice, the civil super intendant for Miller Bros., said he loved the idea as soon as he heard it during a morning meeting. 

“Everybody knows someone that has went through it.” Rice said. “It always hits close to home anytime there’s a cancer situation, and with an unborn baby involved, it makes it harder.”

Karoly and Kurns settled on two nights, Aug. 19 and 25, for team members from Miller’s and Kiewit to roll into Payne and gorge themselves on as many cheeseburgers, fries and milkshakes as Morehead and her employees could crank out of the kitchen. 

The first dinner night, Morehead said at least 30 people were in attendance. Rice said that after the first night, word about the good time at the saloon spread and  become the talk of the week. By the time the second dinner rolled around one week later, attendance hit 50 people. 

Across both nights, the dinners raised over $4,000 after donations of $1,500 each from Miller Bros. and Kiewit. 

Koraly, who is based out of Southern California and arrived in June on her first remote project, said she was struck by how generous the community has been. 

“We’ve been really lucky,” Koraly said. “This whole area, all the community, everyone has been so welcoming.”

Morehead said she had put on events and fundraisers before in her life, but the speed and generosity at which the team members from Kiewit and Miller Bros. jumped in was surprising.

“It’s just amazing for them to want to do that,” Morehead said. “It’s overwhelming to watch all of that, to see everybody so giving and caring.”

If you would like to make a monetary donation, a Go Fund Me page has been set up. It can be accessed by going to gofundme.com and searching “Team Terel.”