WAYLAND — Elvis was in the building on Nov. 4 during the Patti Francis Benefit at the Wayland American Legion.
Wayland Women’s Auxiliary Chaplain Patti Francis suffered a stroke and had four brain surgeries done afterwards. Francis is currently at a rehab center in Hornell.
Wayland Women’s Auxiliary President Rochelle Sulli said Francis is in rehab now to get back her short-term memory.
“She has given so much of herself to the community,” Sulli said. “She works with the school and with us at the Women’s Auxiliary.”
Sulli said the fundraiser was to give back to someone who has meant so much to the community.
“She has a long recovery ahead, but we are hoping to give back to her,” she said. “One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to Patti.”
Sulli mentioned how the fundraiser had already been planned, but due to Francis being ill the money is now going to her.
“We wanted to pack the house for her,” she said. “I am glad our first time doing this goes to Patti.”
There was an overwhelming amount of love from the community as all of the seats were full, and Dave Weaver made it extra special with his Live and “In-Personated” show of The King himself.
Weaver has been doing the Elvis show for 16 years now. He was a veteran during Peacetime for 14 years. Weaver spent six years in the US Navy and eight years in the US Army.
“It is great to be at the legion, and for them to put this together for one of their own,” he said. “This is all for a great cause, and we love to show our love and support.”
Weaver said there is only one Elvis, but he and the others do this as a way to pay tribute and keep the music alive.
“I have always been a fan of Elvis,” he said. “I started doing this in nursing homes just to get myself out there. It has really grown.”
Weaver said he loves singing the early Gospel songs that Elvis did.
“I thank God for giving me this opportunity,” he said. “People all over the world do this. We are like a brotherhood. We all learn from each other.”
“It is not a cheap business. It costs thousands of dollars,” Weaver continued.”I have the exact replicas of Elvis’ jumpsuits. You want to do well, and stay true to Elvis. You want to pay tribute to what he did.”
A few years back Weaver was able to go to Las Vegas and meet some of the people Elvis knew from his music days.
“When you meet people that Elvis was close with in his life that is something you never forget,” he said. “I have made lifelong friends doing this. I hit it off really well with people.”
Weaver has helped with proceeds to Relay For Life for many years now.
“We continue to raise money for them, and make a difference,” he said. “We have all been touched by cancer in some way.”