Paonia Police Officer Bill Hart was diagnosed with Stage 4 small-cell lung cancer and is currently undergoing radiation treatments at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction. Soon he will begin chemo treatments soon, which are expected to last about four months.
Hart is a veteran of the U.S. Army and participated in Desert Storm. He is also member of the Paonia Volunteer Fire Department. Hart is currently on leave from the Paonia Police Department, where he has served as an officer for almost 15 years, said Sergeant Neil Ferguson.
An account has been established at the Hotchkiss and Paonia branches of First State Bank of Colorado under the names of Bill and Sam Hart. Donation jars will be set up in Hotchkiss and Paonia, including at Ace Gambles in Hotchkiss, according to friend and Paonia Town Clerk, Corinne Ferguson.
A Facebook page, "Bill Hart Updates & Support," has been established to keep the community informed of his status. "The cancer is aggressive and has spread to multiple areas of his body," wrote Ferguson on the Facebook page.
A fundraiser raffle and pool tournament will be held Saturday, Jan. 14, at Thomas Waldo's in Paonia. Raffle donations are being accepted at Thomas Waldo's.