Without major heart surgery, Daniel Kocherbaev won’t live to see his second birthday.

The lifesaving procedure comes with an estimated cost of about $25,000 — money his family doesn’t have. To raise money for the surgery, a local bar has teamed up with almost 20 of Katy’s top eateries and foodie organizations to host a massive fundraising event on Sunday, March 27 from 12 – 3 p.m. at Stars Sports Bar & Grill.

Kocherbaev has been given a diagnosis of six months to live without surgery. He lives in Kyrgyzstan and was born with multiple birth defects, including Tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart defect.

Kocherbaev’s family lives in Katy and have been longtime friends of Anthony Orlando, owner of Stars Sports Bar & Grill in Katy. When Orlando learned of Kocherbaev’s crisis, he quickly started using his connections in the area to create an event that would fund the surgery.

Private clubs like Katy Bourbon Mafia and Bourbon Hounds of Houston joined Orlando’s efforts immediately. Orlando also issued a plea for help on the Katy/Fort Bend Foodies Facebook group, which has nearly 5,000 followers and serves as a connector for local restaurants and patrons.

“I’ve been in Katy for 16-plus years, and I’ve been really fortunate to get to know the people and other businesses here, and the Katy/Fort Bend Foodie page admin is a good friend,” Orlando said. “Still, I was really blown away by how many restaurants stepped up and said, ‘Yes, we want to help.’”

Nearly 20 restaurants stepped up to donate food for the event, including Anthonie’s Market Grill, Brett’s BBQ Shop and Phat Eatery.

The event will take place at Stars Sports Bar & Grill and will feature food, drinks, giveaways and a raffle for items ranging from gift cards to luxury bourbons to hand guns. Tickets to the event are $100 per person and include all food, two drinks and 20 raffle tickets. All the money from the event goes directly to Kocherbaev’s surgery, he said.

Admission to the event is limited, and only 150 tickets are available for purchase. With more than 50 raffle items, Orlando added, the odds of winning an item worth much more than the cost of admission are high.

“For $100, you’re getting a ton of food from Katy’s best restaurants, and you’re helping a little boy,” Orlando explained.

Orlando hopes the event will be well attended so that Kocherbaev can get the surgery he needs. “I would have felt terrible if I didn’t try to do anything to help this little boy get the surgery he needs,” Orlando said. “I just pray that he can have the surgery and goes on to have the normal life that he deserves.”

Orlando has also set up a GoFundMe page so people can donate directly to his surgery. He encouraged anyone who can’t attend the event to donate whatever amount they can through the page.

Tickets for the event may be purchased here. The GoFundMe page is available here. Stars Sports Bar & Grill is located at 414 Grand Parkway in Katy.

A complete list of participating restaurants are as follows: Brett’s BBQ Shop, Anthonie’s Market Grill, 1,000 Degrees Pizza, Proud Pie, That’s My Dog, Local Table, Papa Gyros, Chuck Wagon BBQ, Social Pub & Grill, Frankie’s Italian Kitchen, Scholars & Scoundrels, Phat Eatery, Victor’s Mexican Grille, Federal Grill, Midway Meat Market & Bakery, Texas Borders Bar & Grill, Jimbos-to-Geaux, Pier 36 and La Vita Cantina.

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