dean crenshaw

Five-year-old Dean Crenshaw, who is fighting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, hangs out with ladies during a Tampa Bay Lightning game. Poolside in the Shoppes of Sand Key will host a silent auction fundraiser for Crenshaw and his family on Thursday, Dec. 5, in Clearwater.

CLEARWATER — Not all heroes wear capes. Some heroes may look sick, but have a spine of steel. Some heroes may seem weak, but are really the toughest of the tough. And some heroes don’t need to wear a mask, because they put on a brave face every single day.

Five-year-old Dean Crenshaw of Ruskin is one such hero. And the enemy he battles every day is Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

And like every good superhero, Crenshaw sometimes depends on the help of mortals to live to fight another day.

And that’s where you come in.

Poolside in the Shoppes of Sand Key will host a silent auction fundraiser for Crenshaw and his family from 5 to 10 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 5, at 1261 Gulf Blvd., Suite 102, Clearwater.

This is the second year the business has hosted a fundraiser for a family in need, said event organizer Linda Zell.

“This is the season to give,” she said. “I like to search for and find individual families that are really in need.”

Crenshaw, who has a brother and sister, has undergone more than 500 rounds of chemotherapy, Zell said, and is facing another two years of treatment.

According to Zell, Crenshaw, a fan the Tampa Bay Lightning and Paw Patrol, greets each day with a smile. He and his family live an hour away from the hospital, and with only one car and one income, the financial burden is heavy on his parents.

The decision to step up and help was an easy one for Zell to make.

“This really comes from the heart,” said the Chicago native. “I am so grateful for what I have.”

Zell said she has approached numerous businesses in Pinellas County to donate to the cause.

“I’ve knocked on so many doors to beg for donations,” Zell said with a laugh.

The fundraising event will take place during Poolside’s customer appreciation event and will feature appetizers, drinks and music. Zell said 100 percent of the funds raised from the silent auction and raffle will go directly to the Crenshaw family.

Zell said she is still seeking donations for the fundraiser, but some of the big-ticket items she has already secured include hotel packages, a four-night stay at a Clearwater condo and a gym membership.

If you are interested in donating, or would like more information about the fundraiser, contact Zell at or 630-728-2294.