John "Cheeseburger" Witherspoon

$47,450 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 548 people in 48 months
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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Update: Cheese says that the operation in his "brain" seemed to work! He is back at his shop today doing some work, but he can't drive for a few more weeks and is relying on rides. He is happy to be up and out of the house and back at the shop. Work number is 503-362-4750
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Happy to announce that Cheese is home and doing well! Thank you for all the positive vibes.
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In just about an hour, Cheeseburger will have outpatient surgery and receive a pacemaker. This could not have happened without the Support of all the Greenhorns and Chicken Lips out there! Thank you! Push for $50K!
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I'm pretty sure I heard a little excitement today from Cheeseburger when he was talking about his surgery next week. Not a lot, but a little. July 14th and we will keep you updated.
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Read a Previous Update
Leslie Parpart
46 months ago
7
7

I have known Cheese for 20+ years and have been helping him (along with several others) through this medical journey. He just recently received health insurance. He has been unable to work since the first of the year. This is a man who believes in paying his way - sometimes to a fault and for that many in this community forgive him and accept him.

+ Read More
Mike Broberg
46 months ago
5
5

Salem Baseball Umpires Association is taking up a collection as well and I would like to encourage all of my fellow umpires to be generous. I met the big Cheese years ago at Parish Little League. I had the plate for a Juniors all star game and I was pretty green still so I was nervous. Just as I get into the crouch behind the catcher I hear this voice behind me "hey blue, there's a hole in your pants" So I reach back there to see how bad it is...there's no hole. I turn around to see who is the smart alek and there's Cheeseburger laughing his head off. I pray he's back on his feet soon, he's one in a million.

+ Read More
Kelly Cole
46 months ago
5
5

Cheeseburger coached both of my kids in basketball and baseball, and if the world had a few more cheeseburgers it would be a much better place. He truly is one in a million. I don't think anyone who has lived in Salem, and had children over the last 25yrs. does not know who he is, or hasnt had their life touched by his generosity, and his genuine love for kids. Best wishes and our prayers will be with him, and hope he gets the care he needs and so deserves.

+ Read More
David McKeachie
46 months ago
4
4

Cheeseburger is a LEGEND! He has dedicated his life to being that positive influence in every child's life he encountered! Cheese has opened up his heart to our community for the last half a century! He has always showed he cared for every little "Greenhorn" he encountered. He has opened up his heart to all of us over the years. Now we must open up our hearts and wallets and show this Legend how much he means to us! What an INCREDIBLE role model!!! What kind of person coaches 12 teams at the same time? CHEESEBURGER does! Who takes his whole team out to lunch after every game and a lot of practices... Win or lose? Cheese does! Who would pick you up if you needed a ride? Cheese would! Who would be there for you if your family couldn't make it? Cheese would! That's how much he cares about every child! This man is just simply AMAZING! He always steps up to the plate to be that positive influence and guidance in every child's life he ever encountered! What a LEGEND!!! We love you Cheeseburger!!! You've supported all of us over the decades! Well we're all here to support you Big Daddy!

+ Read More
Mcnine Bellman
46 months ago
4
4

Best coach out there and great person too let's support salem oregon u know what time it is.

+ Read More
Rhonda Blair
46 months ago
3
3

I have coached with and against Cheeseburger over the years. God has given him a big heart for the children in our community. Let's all help to protect his heart so that others can experience it too. Praying for you Cheese. -BJ Blair

+ Read More
Geoffrey Snyder
46 months ago
3
3

Cheese burger is loud and loud has touched my life over 25 yrs ago when I was a QB for his football teams the loins for 2 yrs and baseball ump many times as well ! I then got the pleasure of being his assistant coach for football and ump with him about 5 yrs ago hasn't changed still big heart and great soul !!

+ Read More
Melinda Kierce
46 months ago
2
2

I met cheesburger in 1st or 2nd grade when i went to 4corners....he would come hangout with us at lunch time...we all thought he was great and funny ! In 3rd grade i had to move schools and was feeling pretty sad about it. He came to my new school to visit me and brought my whole class cheesburger. I will never forget how great he made me feel that day:) thank u cheesburger:)

+ Read More
Rj Kessinger
46 months ago
2
2

The 1 and only Cheeseburger is a great man.. We go back 30 years meeting him on 1 of his 1st football teams he coached.. Ran across him every year in baseball and football programs to this day. His inspiration led me to Coach all these years. If you can help this great man out, please do so.. John, from the Kessinger Family, We wish you the best always, keep your head up and continue moving forward like you've always done a these years.. Lastly, Thank You for everything you've done for my friends, family and community.. You will always be the BIGGEST Greenhorn in my book lol.. See you soon Cheese....

+ Read More
Marc Albert
46 months ago
2
2

curious if he has health insurance, if he did, his max out of pocket would by law be around 6,600.00...

+ Read More
Leslie Parpart
37 months ago

January 2016 I, John “Cheeseburger” Witherspoon, would like to say thank you to every child, every adult, every business, every organization and all the people within these businesses and organizations who aid prayers, send good thoughts, contributed to the “GoFundMe” account, or in any other way helped me during the period of time when I was having trouble with my heart a few months back. I want all the above mentioned people and groups to know I am doing just fine health wise. The pacemaker-defibrillator and the ablation done to my heart seems to be working fine. But now that I have the pacemaker-defibrillator, some wires and batteries in me, I know how the Eveready Bunny feels. Haha! So, in closing, I again say, thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who helped me. Thank you again from a very grateful person, John “Cheeseburger” Witherspoon

+ Read More
Michelle Sullivan
46 months ago

You are amazing and worth every penny- I hope and pray it gets fixed soon, you are so wanted and needed. Congratulations, what amazing recognition you have. Love and Hugs from Chris and Austin Stedwell, and a big hug from Mom!! Take care, oh, ps: Chris is looking for you

+ Read More

$47,450 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 548 people in 48 months
Created February 11, 2015
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SR
$10
sasha ramsey
10 months ago

good luck cheeseburger hope this little bit gets you closer to your goal

$100
Anonymous
38 months ago (Monthly Donation)
$100
Anonymous
39 months ago (Monthly Donation)
$100
Anonymous
40 months ago (Monthly Donation)
TB
$100
Tom Bauer
40 months ago

Loved having you umpire our games....Always made it fun

$100
Anonymous
41 months ago (Monthly Donation)
Leslie Parpart
46 months ago
7
7

I have known Cheese for 20+ years and have been helping him (along with several others) through this medical journey. He just recently received health insurance. He has been unable to work since the first of the year. This is a man who believes in paying his way - sometimes to a fault and for that many in this community forgive him and accept him.

+ Read More
Mike Broberg
46 months ago
5
5

Salem Baseball Umpires Association is taking up a collection as well and I would like to encourage all of my fellow umpires to be generous. I met the big Cheese years ago at Parish Little League. I had the plate for a Juniors all star game and I was pretty green still so I was nervous. Just as I get into the crouch behind the catcher I hear this voice behind me "hey blue, there's a hole in your pants" So I reach back there to see how bad it is...there's no hole. I turn around to see who is the smart alek and there's Cheeseburger laughing his head off. I pray he's back on his feet soon, he's one in a million.

+ Read More
Kelly Cole
46 months ago
5
5

Cheeseburger coached both of my kids in basketball and baseball, and if the world had a few more cheeseburgers it would be a much better place. He truly is one in a million. I don't think anyone who has lived in Salem, and had children over the last 25yrs. does not know who he is, or hasnt had their life touched by his generosity, and his genuine love for kids. Best wishes and our prayers will be with him, and hope he gets the care he needs and so deserves.

+ Read More
David McKeachie
46 months ago
4
4

Cheeseburger is a LEGEND! He has dedicated his life to being that positive influence in every child's life he encountered! Cheese has opened up his heart to our community for the last half a century! He has always showed he cared for every little "Greenhorn" he encountered. He has opened up his heart to all of us over the years. Now we must open up our hearts and wallets and show this Legend how much he means to us! What an INCREDIBLE role model!!! What kind of person coaches 12 teams at the same time? CHEESEBURGER does! Who takes his whole team out to lunch after every game and a lot of practices... Win or lose? Cheese does! Who would pick you up if you needed a ride? Cheese would! Who would be there for you if your family couldn't make it? Cheese would! That's how much he cares about every child! This man is just simply AMAZING! He always steps up to the plate to be that positive influence and guidance in every child's life he ever encountered! What a LEGEND!!! We love you Cheeseburger!!! You've supported all of us over the decades! Well we're all here to support you Big Daddy!

+ Read More
Mcnine Bellman
46 months ago
4
4

Best coach out there and great person too let's support salem oregon u know what time it is.

+ Read More
Rhonda Blair
46 months ago
3
3

I have coached with and against Cheeseburger over the years. God has given him a big heart for the children in our community. Let's all help to protect his heart so that others can experience it too. Praying for you Cheese. -BJ Blair

+ Read More
Geoffrey Snyder
46 months ago
3
3

Cheese burger is loud and loud has touched my life over 25 yrs ago when I was a QB for his football teams the loins for 2 yrs and baseball ump many times as well ! I then got the pleasure of being his assistant coach for football and ump with him about 5 yrs ago hasn't changed still big heart and great soul !!

+ Read More
Melinda Kierce
46 months ago
2
2

I met cheesburger in 1st or 2nd grade when i went to 4corners....he would come hangout with us at lunch time...we all thought he was great and funny ! In 3rd grade i had to move schools and was feeling pretty sad about it. He came to my new school to visit me and brought my whole class cheesburger. I will never forget how great he made me feel that day:) thank u cheesburger:)

+ Read More
Rj Kessinger
46 months ago
2
2

The 1 and only Cheeseburger is a great man.. We go back 30 years meeting him on 1 of his 1st football teams he coached.. Ran across him every year in baseball and football programs to this day. His inspiration led me to Coach all these years. If you can help this great man out, please do so.. John, from the Kessinger Family, We wish you the best always, keep your head up and continue moving forward like you've always done a these years.. Lastly, Thank You for everything you've done for my friends, family and community.. You will always be the BIGGEST Greenhorn in my book lol.. See you soon Cheese....

+ Read More
Marc Albert
46 months ago
2
2

curious if he has health insurance, if he did, his max out of pocket would by law be around 6,600.00...

+ Read More
Leslie Parpart
37 months ago

January 2016 I, John “Cheeseburger” Witherspoon, would like to say thank you to every child, every adult, every business, every organization and all the people within these businesses and organizations who aid prayers, send good thoughts, contributed to the “GoFundMe” account, or in any other way helped me during the period of time when I was having trouble with my heart a few months back. I want all the above mentioned people and groups to know I am doing just fine health wise. The pacemaker-defibrillator and the ablation done to my heart seems to be working fine. But now that I have the pacemaker-defibrillator, some wires and batteries in me, I know how the Eveready Bunny feels. Haha! So, in closing, I again say, thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who helped me. Thank you again from a very grateful person, John “Cheeseburger” Witherspoon

+ Read More
Michelle Sullivan
46 months ago

You are amazing and worth every penny- I hope and pray it gets fixed soon, you are so wanted and needed. Congratulations, what amazing recognition you have. Love and Hugs from Chris and Austin Stedwell, and a big hug from Mom!! Take care, oh, ps: Chris is looking for you

+ Read More
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