Public officials take it in the faceIt’s a friendly competition that could land a pie in the face of a government official — Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen or Douglas County Administrator Andy Lisak to be exact.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
It’s a friendly competition that could land a pie in the face of a government official — Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen or Douglas County Administrator Andy Lisak to be exact.
And money raised to determine who puts the pie in whose face will help cancer survivors.
The Douglas County dragon boat team is holding a fundraiser next week to determine who gets the pie in the face. Money raised from the event and raffle planned for the pie-throwing event Aug. 13 goes to Essentia Health Foundation’s Cancer Survivorship, said Douglas County Deputy Clerk Cheryl Westman, one of three co-captains of the Douglas County Blazing Paddles.
Cans decorated with the mayor and county administrator’s photographs will be placed in the city and county clerks’ offices as well as other city and county offices starting Monday. For rural residents who don’t want to make the drive to Superior, cans will be placed at the county garage in Hawthorne and forestry office in Solon Springs, and they’ll be available at the city’s wastewater treatment plant.
“There’s a note here: Put the money in the jar of the person you don’t want pied,” said Kaci Lundgren, one of the co-captains. “So if you wanted Andy to get pied, you’re going to put money in the mayor’s or if you want the mayor to get pied, you’re going to put it in Andy’s. Whoever raises the most money gets to throw the pie in the underdog’s face.”
“I’m going to try to get my jar filled with money,” Hagen said. He said he decided to participate because it’s a good cause and the fundraiser brings levity to a serious issue.
Lisak is out of the office this week, but plans to return to work Aug. 12, one day before the actual pie throwing.
The pie throwing takes place during an event that runs 2:30-3:30 p.m. Aug. 13 with pie throwing at 3 p.m. in Room 270 of the Government Center.
During that event, Westman said, they will be offering deserts. Anyone who brings a desert will get a raffle ticket for prizes donated by local businesses. Raffle tickets can also be purchased for $1.
“That money will go to the Essentia Health cancer cause as well,” Westman said
A portion of the 2012 and 2013 proceeds from the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival, which runs Aug. 23-24 this year — will be used to underwrite a free conference for cancer survivors planned for March 22 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, said Charity Rupp, director of annual giving and special events for Essentia Health Foundation. She said the event, still in the planning stages, is completely free and geared for survivors, family members and caregivers.
Fundraising efforts from last year have also supported a part time staff position for a dietitian at the cancer center and provide a dietary pack with supplements, educational materials and tips on how to stay healthy for every patient who sees the dietitian, Rupp said. In the future, she said the foundation will be looking into electronic tools for patients to research information relative to their condition and recovery, she said.
“Most people have been touched by cancer,” Westman said. She said she has close family members and friends in her own life that have faced the disease. “We need to find an answer. We need to find a cure.”
The dragon boat festival also provides a great opportunity for the community to come together, and just be a community Lundgren said.
“It raises a lot of money in the area ... and on top of that, raising money for the cancer survivorship is huge,” Lundgren said. “Cancer touches everybody. It’s out there. It’s well worth it.”
So far, 105 teams have registered for the 2013 Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival planned for Aug. 23-24 on Barker’s Island.