Win a date with the "mailman"

Among items up for bid for an upcoming benefit auction for Eric Foland, formerly of Murray, will be a slightly more unusualitem – a date with Foland’s classmate Chris Wilkins, a.k.a. “the mailman.”

The benefit will be held for Foland, 27, who has been undergoing treatments for stage 4 lung cancer since October 2011. Currently, he resides in Afton with his wife and two step-sons.

Wilkins and Foland have known each other since kindergarten and both graduated from Murray High School in 2002.

About Wilkins

When Wilkins isn’t busy delivering mail in Osceola for the United States Postal Service, he enjoys spending time with his two children – a 5-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter.

“That’s my number one thing in life,” he said. “What I’ve always wanted to do.”

He also enjoys boxing, swimming, hiking and staying active. And helping others out. Wilkins said he has enjoyed several unique experiences in life and has quite a few stories to tell about deep-sea fishing, mountain climbing, road trips and motorcycle trips.

Wilkins said he got the idea to auction off himself for a date from a TV show.

“Just thought it would be fun to do,” he said.

The date

Wilkins said most people know him for his mail carrier uniform. However, he plans to dress up for the auction.

And the date activity is negotiable, he said.

“If nothing else, it would include dinner and activities – whether it’s dancing, shooting pool, a movie or bowling,” he said.

But ultimately, he just wants to help a classmate out, he said.

“We’re hoping to get everyone in the class together and do something for his family,” he said. “He always been such a really nice guy. Always hard working and super friendly.”

The benefit

Foland’s benefit will begin with a meal at 4:30 p.m. March 24 in the Murray School gym. The auction will start at 7 p.m. Funds raised will help Foland with medical and travel expenses to treatments in Des Moines and Iowa City. Cash donations may be made to the Eric Foland benefit fund at Great Western Bank.