2013 cancer auction wraps up, bringing total to $83,000
AUCTION ADVENTURES — Above, Jesse Quam, left, displays a Schwinn bicycle donated by Whitey and LaJune Hagen during the second and final weekend of the 2013 Geneva Cancer Auction Saturday at Geneva Bar & Grill. Below, Asha Lighthizer of Blooming Prairie, right with hairdresser Lisa Full, donated her hair for “Locks of Love.” (Star Eagle photo by Kathy Paulsen)
By KATHY PAULSEN
Whitey Hagen caught and auctioned off a chicken 30 years ago, and for 29 years, the eggs have been rolling in as big money makers for the Geneva Cancer Auction.
Deviled eggs, pickled eggs, hot eggs, raw eggs, and egg omelets; dozens of eggs have found their way to the auction block and have received fabulous prices for this charitable event. Nobody seems to tire of making, buying and eating them.
Like Whitey says, "With $100 or more a dozen, that is only $10 apiece."
Hagen was involved in a cancer auction in 1975 that raised $256. This year, $83,000 was raised during the auction and other fundraising events in Geneva.
This year’s total topped the $80,000 raised last year as well as the $81,000 raised in 2011. It only goes to show that no donation is too small because they all help the amount grow.
The Wild Game Feed grew from a piece of venison meat being donated to a $20,000 dollar event, and so popular that over 1,000 people took part this year. Many look forward to it all year long.
Other groups and individuals organized and held other cancer fundraising events that have also grown into classic events. There are pool tournaments, motorcycle runs and donations to "Locks of Love," which contributes money for research, as well as provides the donation of hair for wigs and such for those who have lost their hair to cancer treatments.
A donation was also received from the Maple Island Park Association, money raised from bingo nights at Geneva Bar & Grill.
Does it make a difference? You bet it does. Just ask people who are walking, talking examples of what funds for research have done for them.
Rich Honstad of Freeborn is just one example.
"I have been involved in community cancer auctions for many years, but not in my wildest dreams did I think of what it might do for me,” said Honstad. “When I was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon and liver cancer I went through hell. I underwent two major surgeries, radiation and chemo treatments and now realize that some of the new techniques and treatments the doctors used on me were the result of cancer research and was funded as a result of money raised by local cancer auctions.”
Honstad then proudly stated he has been cancer free for eight years.
Honstad announced that in appreciation for what he has received from cancer research, he brought in a couple of platters of his hot gourmet deviled eggs to be included in the auction.
Emotions run high at these events. Some laugh, some cry and your heart goes out to those who have been there and won, as well as to those still battling or still hurting from this dreaded disease.
Little girls with pretty curls like 8-year-old Asha Lighthizer from Blooming Prairie, who has given her “Locks of Love” three times now, and others make this into a double event because money is also donated in honor of the sacrifice. Katie Quam also donated, and the cash donations generated from Whitey’s strolls around the bar with the bar tray totaled another $1,000 that was given in honor of Asha and Katie.
The week before, $1,000 had been donated while Brian Fitterer was getting his hair cut. Two thousand dollars is a big total for a hair cut. Two of our local hairdressers, Lisa Full and Brenda Burshem, donated the haircuts.
Then there were the Panther cheerleaders, Kal Shurson, Brenna Hagen, Dana Jensen and Stormi Hagen, who came and donated their time to help Saturday. Hagen gave Asha a ride on her shoulders after she modeled a fancy neck scarf that sold for over $100. The gentlemen with a big heart, who was the top bidder, gave the scarf to little Asha to take along home with her.
Several Valentine’s baskets of lobster tails and steaks, along with a bottle of wine with glasses, were donated. Geneva Bar & Grill helped donate a $1,000 trip to Las Vegas for three days and two nights at the Riviera Hotel.
The trip included cost of the motel, along with airfare for one as well as a fun book of certificates. The bar & grill also donated several baskets of Vikings and Twins items.
A windowpane, painted to include the pink cancer insignia ribbon and the words “believe” and “hope,” a wind chime, and a wall hanging of pink mother of pearl stones designed like the breast cancer insignia were all donated. The auction also included arm and ankle bracelets with the beaded colors designated for the various types of cancer, perfected by friends, family and victims themselves. All of these items helped put little Freeborn County and this area in the record books for the fourth-highest donation per capita in the nation.
The Darrin Haley "Razor" printed metal wildlife and western pictures were outstanding, and there were also quilts, and there are never two hand-pieced and stitched quilts made alike, except that they are beautiful and warm.
Rather than ride it, Whitey and LaJune Hagen donated the "Super Schwinn Sting-Ray bike they had bought to the auction and it brought in $550.
The Albert Lea Kiwanis Day Breakers come every year to lend a hand, and this year several of Panther athletes, along with a great group of others from the community, all served as runners. There are also the clerks, the motorcycle and games chair people, the Wild Game Chefs, the many people who donate all the great food items, the quilt makers, as well as the many great business and community people who generously donate all the great items for the auction.
And we can't forget the family and friends who donate toys, fire rings, jewelry, games, tools, T-shirts and caps and many baskets which have been put together with many great items that have been donated.
The auction also features farm-type items.
Many items were given in memory or in honor of loved ones or just because they are good people who want to do what they can.
The Geneva Cancer Auction also has a great group of businesses and individuals who donate and are a part of the “Ticket Club.” They are all appreciated and thanked many times over the course of this annual event.
And we can't forget Barb and Jack at the Geneva Bar & Grill and their many faithful employees, who really get a workout in December during the Wild Game Feed and then again in January while these two weekends of cancer auctions are taking place.
At 9:45 Saturday night, with a drum roll of sorts, Whitey, announced the winners of the 2013 cancer drawings. Winning the Crown Royal Quilt was Bev White of Geneva. Paul Farrell of Austin won the 51" Plasma HDTV with Blu-Ray Player. Cash prize winners: $500 to Jesse Routh of Ellendale; $400 to Dave Seykora of New Richland; $300 to Trent "Squirrel" Jacobson of New Richland; $200 to Richards Wood Products of Geneva and $100 to Tom Wayne of rural Ellendale.
Whitey commented he sold Tom a ticket for the raffle following worship services at Community Lutheran one Sunday morning. After all the winners’ names had been announced Whitey said, "God bless you all for your support to help find a cure for cancer."
On Sunday morning Whitey once again drove to Rochester for the 59th Annual Eagles Cancer Telethon to make the yearly presentation from the fundraising efforts in our area.
About 12:30 Whitey announced he was very proud the people from our area have continued to raise money for cancer research. He announced $20,000 had been raised from the Wild Game Feed, which completed their 28th year of fundraising for cancer and that they had served over 1,000 people during the event which is held the first Saturday in December.
He announced money donated from other fundraising events, including the Geneva Motorcycle Run, which raised $2,000, and the Matt Felt Pool Tournament that raised $1,000, along with other donations and memorials, including $1,000 from the First National Bank, Ellendale, Hope and Waseca; the Maple Island Park Association; and the Geneva Cancer Coffee Cluckers; as well as money raised from the Geneva Cancer Auction.
Whitey shared during the live broadcast that money raised from the first auction he had first been involved in raised a mere $256, but the auctions that have followed have gone on to show that no matter how small things are when you first start, if you keep at it, you will truly be amazed at how things can grow.
He then announced he had brought a check in the amount of $83,000, the total from all the fundraising events, donations and memorials the past year.
Hagen thanked everyone who has volunteered to help, provide items for the annual auction and pay the price for great foods and merchandise. Everyone involved has helped make this a successful event year after year. The loyalty and continuing effort is amazing.
Whitey then thanked everyone from the bottom of his heart, saying, “There are angels on earth who are outstanding at what they do.”
The Star Eagle apologizes for not being able to recognize everyone who has helped with this cause. Everything and everyone is important in this cause to help find a cure for cancer.