John "Cheeseburger" Witherspoon

If you've been around long enough you may know John Witherspoon, but most only know him as "Cheeseburger." Those of us who are lucky enough to know him understand the type of man he truly is. Behind the grease stains, shaggy hair, dirty umpiring hat, and a pair of shoes with a hole in it, is a man with the biggest heart in the word. A heart that has dedicated most of his adult life to being a volunteer, coaching basketball, football, baseball, and even synchronized swimming (according to him). His hard work as a self-employed mechanic and handy man provided him with the time to be a coach and umpire all these years. If you know Cheese, he is a proud man, doesn't ask for much, pays for lunch most of the time, and has a great sense of what it is kids in our community need: a person who cares about them.

Cheeseburger is not only know as an umpire or coach, but also as a mentor at 4 Corners Elementary School where he spends a few hours a  week helping kids learn to read. He has been chronicled by local newspapers about his volunteerism, and as a hero to some.  He is always doing what he can to make sure a child is successful, John "Cheeseburger" Witherspoon has dedicated his life to serve others, never asking for anything else in return but hard work and effort, and regardless of a win or a loss, a trip to Bob’s or Dairy Queen was is the future. 

At the ripe age of "older than dirt", Cheese is in need of some support. Cheeseburger has been dealing with an arrhythmic heart the last few years and doctors tell him he needs surgery, looking to get a pacemaker. 

Cheese doesn't ask for help, but approves it. With an estimated $80,000-100,000 in medical expenses and loss of income in the future we ask for the support of the Salem-Keizer community, or anyone who  was ever we lucky enough to be called a "green horn" or "chicken lips." If every person who has had experienced Cheeseburger, as a coach, reading teacher, friend, or even being ejected out of a baseball game, give just $10, Cheese would be provided with the greatest gift of all, an opportunity to keep doing what he loves; being a coach, mentor, umpire, mechanic, and joke teller extraordinaire that we have all grown to know, love, and appreciate. With as much gratitute a man can give, Cheeseburger says, thank you.


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Boone Marker 
Salem, OR
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