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Mon, Oct. 14

Palace Restaurant hosting benefit

PRESCOTT ­ Terry Earp needs your help.

At 6:34 a.m. on Sept. 16, the Phoenix-based playwright, frequent Prescott performer and wife of Wyatt Earp, great-nephew of the famous lawman of the same name, was bicycling with her husband through a Phoenix intersection when the driver of an SUV reportedly ran a red light and hit her.

Since the accident, Earp has endured more than seven surgeries at different Phoenix hospitals, moved in and out of intensive care, with Wyatt faceing considerable financial obstacles to get the treatment she needs that is not covered by her health insurance.

Earp's friend and agent Kathy Collins said doctors were initially pessimistic, guessing she will be paraplegic; however, she has since displayed some movement.

"I believe she is the toughest woman in the world," Collins said.

"She's fully cognizant, her mental skills are sharper than mine and her humor's intact," said Wyatt after a surgery on Nov. 2 where doctors were fighting two infections.

"To quote her, she's in a body reclamation program," he said, noting he and his wife communicate by lip-reading and reading lettered code cards.

Friends of the Earps and the Palace Restaurant and Saloon are combining their resources for a benefit dinner event on Thursday, to help the Earps deal with the tragedy.

The Help Terry Triumph benefit begins with a dinner at 5:30 p.m. followed by an auction at 6:30 p.m. with auctioneer Bob Greene presiding.

The show features State Historian Marshall Trimble; official state balladeer Dolan Ellis; singing cowboy Gary Sprague, who will be doing a pre-show outside the Palace with his horse; and cowgirl singer and friend of the Earps, Sue Harris.

Auction items include a vintage hand-made gun donated by Charlie Gullet and a bronze sculpture by Bill Nebeker.

Dinner is $65 per person and includes tax and gratuity.

"We've been doing shows at The Palace once every three months, gosh, for at least nine years. It's become our home away from home for performances," Wyatt said.

Terry Earp frequently performed with her husband as Mrs. Wyatt Earp.

"She has written (about) the lives of people that have helped magnify the American experience as far as the opening of the West," Wyatt said, adding that Terry's work allowed audiences to see the person in her legendary characters rather than the myth.

Terry Earp authored 30 plays, including "Skimpies," garnering four AriZoni Awards, and "Menopause: The Comedy," which ran for six months in Phoenix in 1997.

"I just want people to know what a great lady Terry Earp is. She's done so much for the state with her wonderful plays," Palace owner Dave Michelson said.

For tickets and information, call The Palace at 541-1996. For an update on Earp's progress, visit www.wyattearp.biz.

Contact the reporter at lmclain@prescottaz.com

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