Aim for a Cure
Laura Lauer takes aim at her target.
Event organizer Laura Lauer, like so many people, has felt the pain cancer can have on individuals and families. But as an oncology research nurse at Marshfield Clinic, she also sees advances being made every day to save lives. That's why she helps organize Aim for a Cure, supporting cancer research at Marshfield Clinic Research Institute.
Aim for a Cure was back for the third year, on August 2 and 3 at the Blackhawk Archery Club in Custer. The event again celebrated the life of Richard Lepak, who spent a lot of time with a bow in his hand, enjoying the art of archery.
Richard worked very hard to build the Blackhawk Archers Club as it stands today. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with cancer and taken from his family and friends much too early. In his honor, Blackhawk Archers take pride in hosting a public archery shoot. The shoot offers access to the club's newly-designed outdoor range, which features 20 targets and a practice range up to 50 yards. The event raised $3,269 for cancer research.
"It is wonderful to be able to share something we enjoy with other people," Lauer said. "It's even better when our passion is able to contribute to the research that will make the lives better of those affected by cancer."
Fore A Cure
This year's record-breaking event included 172 golfers and dozens of sponsors who boosted the event's total to $1.3 million since its inception 11 years ago. Sunny, warm weather made it a great day for golf. Food, games and silent and live auctions kept golfers entertained.
The golf outing is a very personal event for the Fonti family. Bill Fonti, president of Furniture & ApplianceMart, along with his siblings, Joe, Laurie and Vince, Jr., created this event with the goal of making services available to any individual who would otherwise not be able to afford them. The Fonti siblings' grandmother, Catherine Fonti, beat breast cancer twice.
Fore a Cure golf outing raises money for breast cancer services at Marshfield Clinic, including:
The Clinic's Mobile Health Units which provide mammography and primary care services
The Catherine Fonti Angel Fund which helps women in need pay for mammograms
The Catherine Fonti Angel Fund provides approximately 100 mammograms per year to women. The Clinic's Mobile Mammography Units screen around 6,000 women annually. Additional funding for juvenile diabetes care programs was inspired by Vince Fonti III, who was diagnosed with diabetes when he was 8 years old.
New this year was the $10,000 Mid-State Truck "Putt your money where your mouth is" event. Golfers donated $20 and one golfer was randomly drawn for a chance to sink a long putt for the money. The golfer narrowly missed, but the game ratcheted up the excitement and helped raise more money for the cause.
Hundreds of runners and walkers came out on June 21 in Marshfield to pledge their support for Mike's Run and Behavioral Health services at Marshfield Clinic.
More than $34,000 was raised to continue the effort to erase the stigma around mental health issues and get people who suffer from these issues the care and resources they need. Proceeds will be used to continue educating the public on mental health issues through additional resources and community education projects.
Mike's Run includes a five-mile run and a two-mile fun run/walk. The event honors the memory of Marshfield native Mike Hackman, who took his life in 2010 after suffering from mental illness for years.
The event has raised over $138,000 the past four years.
A team of more than 50 community members and volunteers, including a large number of Marshfield Clinic physicians and staff, woke bright and early to work the registration tables and routes that morning, hand out water, shout runner times and encourage all involved to keep up the great work.
Duathlon participants start the biking portion of the race.
Hub City Days Duathlon
Ranging in age from 11-72, competitors came from throughout the country to compete in the Hub City Days Duathlon. Over 400 participants lined the start corral on July 27 at the University of Wisconsin Wood County/Marshfield, eager to record a personal best time, beat their buddy, or become a "finisher."
With new and improved running routes this year, participants faced a two-mile run, followed by a 14-mile bike ride, and ending with another two-mile trail run.
Proceeds benefit the Center for Community Outreach's Youth Net program at Marshfield Clinic, a youth development program serving youth ages 8-18 in the Marshfield area. The program targets educational and academic success; development of personal and social skills; and participation in recreational activities and supervised community service opportunities.
Hub City Days Duathlon was the second leg of the Central Wisconsin Duathlon Triple Crown. The Woodson YMCA/Badger State Games Duathlon was June 14 in Weston and United Way's Run, Bike, Unite Duathlon in Stevens Point was Aug. 23. All participants who completed all three duathlons in the Triple Crown received a special T-shirt and awards were handed out in each age group.
Golf for Research
The 16th annual Golf for Research presented by Solarus was held Aug. 19, at Lake Arrowhead Golf Course in Nekoosa. The event featured 140 golfers who shot six holes each of scramble, best ball and alternate shot, and helped raise over $64,000 for adult and pediatric cancer research at Marshfield Clinic.
Research is critical to saving lives in communities in the Clinic's service area. Golf for Research has made a big impact by providing more than $848,835 since the event's inception, to support cancer research at Marshfield Clinic Research Institute.
Special guests Kathy and Brandon Ballschmieder addressed the crowd prior to golf, telling their story and what cancer research means to them. Brandon was 15 when he was diagnosed in 2010 with a rare form of leukemia. The long-term prospects weren't good. A bone marrow transplant wasn't an option because a match couldn't be found.
He underwent a clinical trial with Pediatric Oncologist/Hematologist Michael McManus, M.D., that lasted more than two years. With the help of aggressive chemotherapy, Ballschmieder celebrated his 18th birthday in 2013, having completed his treatment.
"Research provided an option for a study for Brandon that wasn't available before," said Kathy Ballschmieder, Brandon's mother. "Without research, I don't believe he would be standing here with us today."
Shelby GT500s are lined up at the Cruise for a Cause, where the Clinic’s latest mobile mammography unit was also on display.
Cruise for a Cause Celebrates 50 years of Ford Mustang
Celebrating 50 years of Ford Mustang, the Fall Cruise for a Cause weekend held October 3-5, offered nearly a dozen activities. Among them were a golf tournament, car show, guided restaurant and road tours, bowling, fashion show, raffles, music, a 60's costume party, poker run, autocross, auction and banquet, discounted Wisconsin Dells attractions and more.
Dan Neve started Cruise for a Cause in 2010 when both his wife and mother were diagnosed with breast cancer within months of each other. Proceeds generated from this event support breast and prostate cancer research being done right here at Marshfield Clinic, as well as mobile mammography.
Traveling the country and setting up booths at events with his 2010 Shelby GT500 named Hope parked right next to him, Cruise for a Cause organizer Neve works throughout the year delivering hope wherever he goes.
Softball and beanbag tourney
The 10th Annual Tossing for Breast Cancer Softball and 6th Annual Beanbag Tournament took place at the Marshfield Fairgrounds on September 20. As the saying goes, "All good things must come to an end," true in this case as it was the last year the tournaments will be run. The event also included cake walks, 50/50 raffle, silent auctions and many other raffles.
The event proceeds support research and assists medical expenses of a current or past softball player undergoing treatment. This year, the proceeds went entirely to research as, thankfully, no player was being treated for breast cancer at the time. The final tournament was the biggest ever, raising over $6,400.
Over the past 10 years, the tournament has totaled $36,500.00, with $8,000 going directly to individuals to assist with medical bills. The tournament has come a long way since the first two years, which raised $508 and $800, respectively.
Connie Greenwald was the lead organizer. Committee members included Sue Leahy, Connie Wavrunek, Tammy Livingston and Bob and Dawn Chaffin.
Participants in the Breast Cancer Awareness Ride and Run are ready to take off.
Breast Cancer Awareness Ride/Run
The 7th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Ride/Run was hosted at The Sports Den on Oct. 11. The unpredictable October weather worked in the event's favor this year, allowing 430 runners, walkers, and bikers to take the streets in their pink attire.
For the second year in a row, participants signed up as teams and encouraged their friends and family to join them in raising awareness for breast cancer. Twenty teams signed up and were each recognized at the event.
This year, BCARR raised nearly $25,000 to support the Mobile Health Screening Program at Marshfield Clinic. BCARR also raises funds for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation through their partnership with Trek Bicycle Company.
BBS families show their support with special events to raise money for BBS research and education.
Bring Light to BBS
Bring Light to BBS is an organization founded by a group of families who are affected by Bardet Biedl Syndrome (BBS). Their mission is to improve the treatment and care of people with BBS by raising funds for research and education for parents, medical professionals and researchers.
Bring Light to BBS Minneapolis: The 1st Annual Bring Light to BBS FootGolf event was held in Bloomington, Minn., on September 22. With a goal to improve the treatment and care of people with BBS, the Alms and Novetzke families teamed up to host an afternoon of fun, raising awareness and nearly $27,000 to support BBS research into this rare disease at Marshfield Clinic.
The event began on the golf course with a new, but highly popular game of FootGolf. Teams of four took to the course with their soccer balls and knee-high argyle socks, aiming for a three-foot diameter hole in the middle of the fairway. After FootGolf, guests were entertained with live music, dinner, silent and live auctions, and testimonials from families who have a child with BBS.
Bring Light to BBS Atlanta: On October 23, Donna West and her family hosted a Bring Light to BBS golf tournament in Newnan, Ga. With a goal to raise $20,000, West organized a day of golf for her friends, family, and colleagues.
Over 140 golfers participated in the event, each hoping to sink the hole in one, hit the longest drive, or purchase the winning raffle ticket for the big screen TV. However, the center of the day was the hope of improving the treatment and care of people with BBS.
Participants in the fun/walk reach the finish line.
Several Marshfield Clinic physicians were among those getting icy water dumped over their heads.
ALS Steps for Hope
On Sept. 6, over 300 people gathered at Wildwood Park in Marshfield to participate in the 1st Annual Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Steps for Hope event. This run/walk was organized by the Braun family in memory of their father and brother, John Braun.
With the goal of raising awareness for ALS and raising funds for ALS Research at Marshfield Clinic, the Braun family worked tirelessly for three months to plan and organize this inaugural event. Dr. Jaime Boero attended the event to speak about ALS and the importance of research in providing hope for future generations.
As a way to promote the event, Darrin Braun challenged Dr. Boero, Dr. Narayana Murali, and his uncle, Gary Braun, to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge. In addition, Drs. Timothy Boyle and Benjamin Lawler participated in the challenge, which took place on August 28. Each accepted the challenge and were good sports as buckets of icy water were dumped over their heads.
Junction City Candle Light Cancer Walk
Kelly Kerchefski and Beth Slowinski once again organized the Junction City Candle Light Cancer Walk to benefit pediatric oncology patients at Marshfield Clinic. Their community walk included an illuminated walking path, lit with luminary bags decorated in honor or in memory of loved ones. Families could also light paper lanterns to launch once the sun set.
Families honored their loved ones by creating luminary bags at the Junction City Candle Light Cancer Walk.
Kelly and Beth both lost a sister to cancer. This event was created to celebrate their memories and bring the community together to show support and bring awareness to the continued hope of finding a cure.
Becky Krause, mother to cancer survivor Will, participated in the event with her family.
"The Junction City Cancer Walk was such an encouraging experience for our family to take part in this year," she said. "Beth and Kelly have taken their heartbreaking experiences and made them into something heartwarming. This event showed the amazing giving spirit of a small Wisconsin Community. Our family was honored to be a part of such a touching and uplifting event."
Funds raised at the event were designated to the Krause Family Pediatric Cancer Angel Fund.
Laughs on the Lake
On July 17, Deuces Wild Dueling Pianos took the stage at The Campanile Center for the Arts in Minocqua for an evening of comedy, music and improvisation. Laughs on the Lake supported the Northwoods Cancer Care Fund while providing entertainment and laughter to the 200 people in attendance.
The event, formerly called Pianos for the Gardens, also supported the Horizons Gardens located at the Minocqua Center. Renovations to these healing gardens were completed in Fall 2014 thanks to the support of this dueling pianos event and a dedicated group of volunteers. They will be rededicated in Spring 2015.