Other stories filed under Features
January 30, 2018
Cancer – it comes in many different forms and sizes, and sadly it has impacted everyone at some point in their life. According to the National Cancer Institute, “In 2016, an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 595,690 people will die from the disease.” Owatonna has decided to make a stand by donating to cancer research, community organizations or individuals within the community by hosting “Cancer Nights” and other fundraisers.
The Owatonna Senior High School athletics began the school’s cancer fundraising. In the fall, OHS Football hosted their fifth annual ‘Sack Cancer’ event. The proceeds from this event went to the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund. According to their website, $281,000 was raised throughout the state of Minnesota to go towards cancer research and those who have been hit by cancer the most.
These fundraisers will continue into the winter sports season, but with many more sports contributing. The first of the events will be the Owatonna Boys Hockey teams annual “Stick it to Cancer” night. This event will be hosted on Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 7:00 p.m. at the Owatonna Four Seasons Centre where they will be facing off against the Northfield Raiders. The benefits from this event will be split between Brian Wencl – a father of one of the players – and the From the Heart Foundation.
Wencl was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the fall of 2017 and will have surgery on Feb. 17 to remove his tumor. Wencl has always been involved in the Hockey Program at Owatonna. He played in high school, and his son’s Trace and Tyler have been involved in the hockey program. The money raised at this event will be used to help pay for treatment payments as well as helping the family while Wencl is battling cancer.
On Friday, Feb. 2, the Owatonna Boys Basketball team will be hosting their annual Coaches vs. Cancer game, and on Feb. 9 the Owatonna Girls Basketball team will host their own Coaches vs. Cancer game. All proceeds from the boy’s event will be given to the local American Cancer Society, and proceeds from the girl’s event will go to Relay of Life of Steele County.
Boys basketball names someone every year who will be the image for this fundraiser to show support for their own encounter with cancer. This person is related to the Owatonna Basketball program in some way from being a fan of the team to a coaches friend. This year the basketball team will be wearing shirts and doing this fundraiser in honor of Jim Gleason, a man who has been a long time supporter for basketball and the community.
Relay for Life is the signature fundraiser of the American Cancer Society. This event is specifically used to help showcase how strong cancer survivors are. It is also a way to honor those who have lost someone to cancer. The next event for Relay for Life Steele County will be hosted on Friday, July 20 at the Steele County Fairground. This event will last from 6 p.m. on Friday until 12 a.m. on Saturday.
The From the Heart Foundation raises money for local members of the Owatonna community who have been affected by cancer. Each year they host a race in which all of the proceeds will go to those who they are raising money for. This year’s recipients will be announced on Valentine’s Day. Additionally, the From the Heart Association has also added a Girls Night Out event to raise money in addition to their annual race.
With all of the events being hosted throughout the community, Owatonna is working hard to make a big difference. These events are all great opportunities to help and support those who have been hit by the impact of cancer.