Dodge County Relay for Life once again a national leader
Again in 2019 the Dodge County Relay for Life organization ranked among the leaders in the amount of money raised for the American Cancer Society. This is the fourth year the local group has been in the top 10 nationwide.
The local organization was ranked No. 3 nationally in the 20,000 to 24,000-population bracket, said Garrett Stadsvold, community development manager, for the American Cancer Society office in Rochester. The local event raised over $130,000 for the 2019.
“We are once again excited to be No. 3 in the nation per capital for the Relay for Life fundraising,” said Dodge County Chair Lisa Rollins. “Dodge County is a very supportive community, and I am very proud to be involved and a member of this community,”
The local event, called the Dodge County Stroll, is held annually at the Dodge County Fairgrounds. The 2020 event is scheduled for Friday, July 31.
Funds are raised by individual Relay for Life teams.
“It’s amazing that Dodge County is again one of the nation’s top Relay fundraisers for counties our size,” said Pat Shaffer-Gottschalk, who participated in last year’s event.
“I believe it shows two things, the depth of the commitment people here have to support those struggling with or recovered from cancer, as well as working to eradicate it, and it shows how big the heart of Dodge County is.”
Members of the local organization are not content with the 2019 results and are already gearing up for 2020.
“We would really like to make the extra push to No. 1 and if we a get a few more dedicated teams to sign up or a few more committee members with new ideas that just might be what we need to put us over the top,” Rollins said.
Planning is already under way and letters will be going out soon to local businesses for their donations. There are several levels of donations, she said, from track sign level to silent auction items to relay sponsorship.
Several teams are already in full swing with their fundraising, Rollins said, especially the Fishin’ To Fight Cancer team that is very active all year.
Fishin To Fight Cancer holds several fundraising events throughout the year, said team member Sara Marquardt.
The most recent event by the group was last Saturday when they hosted the January Steak and Shrimp Fry at the Kasson American Legion Post.
The team is also planning to conduct the second annual Burger Battle this summer as a fundraiser, she said.
Last summer individuals could purchase a burger card for $40 that entitled them to one burger at each of the participating restaurants. After sampling the burgers at all the restaurants they could vote for their favorite burger.
Last year’s favorite burger winner was from Uncle Mony’s in Hayfield and was announced during the stroll. Several additional restaurants have indicated they would like to participate in the challenge, Marquardt said.
Rollins said that as a cancer survivor she hopes to make this year bigger and better so that one day researchers will be able to find cures for all types of cancer.
“That way it will hopefully not be so scary to hear that terrible word – cancer,” she said. “Continuing the fundraising efforts helps continue the focus and research to hopefully one day be able to eradicate this terrible disease.”