October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month and the Pain Reliever in Nekoma will be turning pink starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, September 30 as the Pink Ribbon Riders hold what they hope to be the first of many events in the area to assist those diagnosed and battling the disease.
Posted on 9/24/16
By Melissa Anderson
“The Pink Ribbon Riders is a small volunteer based 501c3 non-profit organization that provides direct assistance to both men and women diagnosed with breast cancer,” Megin Wilhelmi, the lead organizer said
Pink Ribbon Riders organization was started in 2005 by two friends who wanted to have an event to help support their friend who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Unfortunately, their friend passed away before their event was able to be held. The organization continues to have snowmobile rides in the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Wyoming, and New York.
“The funds raised at our event will provide direct emergency financial support for men and women currently diagnosed with breast cancer who are in current treatment (chemo, radiation, surgery or awaiting surgery),” Wilhelmi stated.
The financial support is given in the form of a $500 gift card to patients in the states in which the Pink Ribbon Riders fundraise with the funds staying in the state that it was originally raised in. The Pink Ribbon Riders organization prides themselves on giving 84% of all money raised to breast cancer survivors.
Quarterly, patients who are currently in breast cancer treatment can apply for financial assistance. Patients can only apply once in a lifetime for the financial assistance. Patients must complete their application and submit all the needed information at the same time to be considered for the financial assistance.
Last year, Wilhelmi and Racheal Petri attended their first Pink Ribbon Rider snowmobile event in Ely, Minnesota. During the event, they heard many touching stories from survivors and other people who have been affected by breast cancer.
“On the ride home from the event, we talked about putting together our own fundraiser to help those diagnosed with breast cancer,” Wilhelmi said.
Something that usually does not get mentioned when breast cancer is discussed is that men can also be diagnosed with and be breast cancer survivors. Breast cancer can effect anyone, at any age, and in any location.
“We want people to know that Pink Ribbon Riders is an outstanding organization that can be a financial assistance to men and women diagnosed with breast cancer,” Wilhelmi stated.
Wilhelmi continued explaining the impact that breast cancer has on many families and friends.
“We have all had family members, friends, neighbors, classmates, coworkers, and complete strangers who we have seen bravely fighting many types of cancers,” Wilhelmi said, “We were grateful to find out more information on Pink Ribbon Riders and ways that we could help them to raise money for patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.”
Wilhelmi and Petri have had outstanding outreach from local patrons at the Pain Reliever and the surrounding area asking how they could help with raising funds.
“We have received gift baskets, gift cards, crafts, and many other great items that will be used in the fishbowl drawings and raffles,” Wilhelmi explained.
The meat for the free-will dinner will include pork and fish prepared by Paul Hansel and Bob Wilhelmi. There will also be a variety of different salads made by local patrons of the Pain Reliever and by the organizers themselves.
“There will be a wide variety of homemade baked items including macaroons, cookies, brownies, truffles, and bars available for purchase,” Wilhelmi said.
To be part of the fishbowl drawings, there will be raffle tickets available for purchase and then the ticket holder will be able to decide on which items they want to put their ticket into. For the silent auction, organizers already have multiple items that people can make their bid on.
“The goal is to out bid each other which usually makes for an entertaining evening,” Wilhelmi stated.
Most of the silent auction and fishbowl items range in value and include items such as: home-made crafts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, snowmobile bag, picnic set, pink ribbon tote bag, and many more great items.
“We will have a meat raffle as well,” Wilhelmi added.
There will also be items available for purchase including Pink Ribbon Rider coozies, memory angels, headbands and hair ties, lanyards, and nail art. The Pain Reliever will have drink specials throughout the night.
While the event originated with the intention of snowmobiles, the chances of snow falling for the event are slim leaving the option of what attendees want to ride in on completely up to them.
“Please come in any mode of transportation,” Wilhelmi said, “We look forward to seeing people on their motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles if we have snow, cars, tractors, golf carts, horse and buggy, or bicycles.”
Even though the event is being held at the Pain Reliever, Wilhelmi and Petri want manydifferent age groups to attend and feel welcome.
“Our hope is that this event is a fun-filled family events that can be done annually,” Wilhelmi stated.
If you are not able to make it and want to donate money, you can make a check out to the Pink Ribbon Riders or donate cash at the Pain Reliever. For those wanting to donate items for the silent auction or raffle, please bring items to the Pain Reliever .
“We truly want to thank everyone who has helped make this possible and look forward to seeing everyone that can make it to the event,” Wilhelmi said.
Wilhelmi and Petri are looking forward to their second year at the Pink Ribbon Rider snowmobile run in Ely, Minnesota on February 24-25, 2017 and invite those interested to attend.
“We highly encourage others who are interested in the snowmobile run to talk to us at the fundraiser or get information on the Pink Ribbon Rider website,”Wilhelmi said.
Please refer to the Pink Ribbon Rider website: www.pinkribbonriders.com for specific details on how to apply for assistance or to host your own event.