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GoFundMe account set up for friends and customers to rally around local server and bartender Mark Yoder

When the call went out to help Mark Yoder, people responded. Quickly and generously.

“I was thinking really optimistic that we would raise $3,000 in three days. Within 16 hours we had $5,000,” said Jessica Whicker, a friend of Yoder’s who set up the page on behalf of a group concerned about how to help him.

The longtime cook, server and bartender in Goshen restaurants is fighting sarcoidosis, a rare inflammatory disease that affects a variety of organs, particularly lungs and lymph glands.

Yoder, 44, was diagnosed about a dozen years ago, before he helped open Constant Spring with founder Jason Oswald. Yoder is still working there, but had previously worked at Dembufsky, Courthouse Pub, Dandino’s and started at Burger King when he was a teenager.

The disease flared up recently and he has been seeing specialists in Indianapolis and was admitted to the hospital. He returns to Indianapolis on Friday to see another specialist.

As a bartender, if Yoder isn’t at work, he loses income from tips. He said he wants to go back to see friends, but hasn’t been able to, even though he feels better than he did.

As of Thursday afternoon, the GoFundMe page was at $10,060. Despite insurance, the bills are mounting and he said he’s grateful for the support. “I was dumbfounded,” he said.

If you want to contribute to the page, you can go to

Marshall V. King is food columnist for Flavor 574 and community editor for The Elkhart Truth. You can reach him at 574-296-5805,, and on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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