Fighting cancer offers funCancer, it has been said, touches us all. Jane Moe lost two close co-workers to the disease.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Cancer, it has been said, touches us all. Jane Moe lost two close co-workers to the disease.
“I sat by and watched these young, vibrant people succumb to this illness and I wanted to fight back to make a difference,” said Moe, director of e-Commerce merchandising for Maurices.
Brooke Johnstad of Foxboro recalled her grandfather’s fight with cancer. He tried different, sometimes experimental, medications before he lost the battle.
“If he can try to help people fight cancer, we need to,” Johnstad said.
Both women are leading Douglas County Relay for Life teams to raise money for the American Cancer Association. And they are inviting everyone to join in their fight. Each team offers a unique opportunity to strike back against cancer. One is hosting a benefit with fashion and music; the other a day at the lawnmower races.
The Maurices team holds a gala event with jazz music, 60s fashion, tasty hors d’oeuvres and silent auction featuring items like an iPod Touch, an iPad 2, a Cirrus plane ride, hotel packages and more. The MADCURE event based on the TV show “Mad Men” runs 5-9 p.m. Tuesday at Dubh Linn Irish Pub in downtown Duluth.
Moe and Tracy Neubauer have been co-captains of the Maurices team for the past six years. During that time, the group has raised the stakes for others, becoming one of the largest contributors to the Douglas County Relay for Life.
“Last year we raised more than $11,000, which was nearly 15 percent of the total amount raised for the Douglas County event,” said Moe, a Superior resident.
Not content to rest on their laurels, the co-captains decided to kick it up a notch this year with the benefit. Entertainment includes Cal Metz from the Duluth Playhouse and some of his cohorts crooning “rat pack” tunes and the jazz music of Billy Bernard. To join in the fun, attendees can come dressed in their favorite 60s attire. Tickets are $20 each, and Dubh Linn’s will provide two free comedy show tickets with each one sold.
“It’s going to be a fabulous event and we are really hoping that our community will come out and support us by attending,” Moe said. Tickets are available at Dubh Linn’s, Play it Again Sports, Snyder’s One Stop in the Holiday Center, at www.maurices.com/madcure or at the door the night of the event.
Mowing for a cure
Powered by the imagination of a 6-year-old and the determination of a team, the first Cure Mower Cancer Race took place at Copper Creek Motorsports Park last year. Instead of stock cars, the race featured high-octane lawnmowers that can reach speeds of 60 mph or higher. It was such a hit that Johnstad’s Relay for Life team is holding the event again at 1 p.m. Saturday at the motorsports park in rural Superior.
“Last year, we had 18 drivers and about 200 people in the stands,” Johnstad said. “We loved that we raised money for ACS in a fun way.”
The event netted $1,800 toward the search for a cure. Johnstad’s son, Brice, came up with the idea for the races. This year, he hopes to raise $5,000 from the event. It promises to be a bigger field of racers than last year. About 70 drivers from four different states are expected to compete. Many local racers from South Range, Foxboro and Duluth — including Brice’s dad — are entering lawnmowers of their own.
“This race is because of a now 7-year-old, and if he can fight cancer anyone can,” Johnstad said. “We would love to see people come out and help him mow cancer down.”
Admission to the event is $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 5-12, and free for all children under the age of 5. Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society on behalf of the 2011 Douglas County Relay for Life.
Johnstad’s team, called Gary’s Ray of Hope, raised more than $6,000 for the relay last year through the mower race, rummage sales, a stock car race and other events. Brice was named the top fundraiser in Douglas County at the 2010 Douglas County Relay for Life.
“With your help, our efforts at Relay For Life can help the ACS keep reaching toward a cancer-free future,” Moe said. “There is no finish line until we find a cure. Together, we can make a difference! “