Monday, January 19, 2009

2008 Messenger article

Messenger photo by Sandy Mickelson
Shirley Reekers watches her sister, Lynda Lowery, etch an apothecary jar with the words Faith, Hope and Love. The jar will be filled with pink M&Ms and used as a guess-the-number during Saturday’s Tailgae With the Ta Tas fun run. Proceeds are given to the cancer center at Trinity Regional Medical Center to be used for uninsured services such as wigs, transportation, lodging and meals. Both Reekers and Lowery are from Fort Dodge.

Another fun run to raise money for women fighting breast cancer will be Saturday, starting and ending at Amigo's in Fort Dodge.

"Tailgate with the Ta Tas" is the theme for this year's run, which isn't limited to motorcycles, but is open to any vehicle, said organizer Shirley Reekers, of Fort Dodge.

"We'd like to see the car cruiser clubs come out and join us," she said. "This is a good way to make people aware. It's also a way to raise money for a good cause."

In the inaugural motorcycle fun run last year, 205 registered guests raised $3,700 that was "donated to the cancer center at Trinity Regional Medical Center," Reekers said. "We gave it to Rae Anne Marner, targeted for uninsured services, such as wigs and scarves and for transportation to treatments." Marner is manager at TRMC Cancer Center.

With the fun run money last year, 20 women received wigs, seven women received help with transportation and two women received help with lodging and meals in trips to Iowa City for treatment.

Tailgate with the Ta Tas registration starts at 11 a.m. Saturday, and the ride starts at noon. All vehicles are asked to return by 5 p.m.

"There will be five stops, with a couple extra credits for more points," Reekers said. "We'll hide some pink ribbons along the way, and we want people to watch and see where the pink ribbons are. It just kind of makes you aware when you're watching for these things."

The five stops are The Prowler in Humboldt, Quarters in LuVerne, The Well in Goldfield, Mandi's in Vincent and Riverside Tap in Lehigh.

Reekers said it should be easy to find these businesses because, "all you have to do is listen for the noise."

Each person signing up for the fun run pays $10 and has the choice to buy a T-shirt.

Lynda Lowery, of Fort Dodge, is etching an apothecary jar with the words Faith, Hope and Love plus the pink ribbons of breast cancer awareness. She's trying to figure out a way to make the ribbons pink, but isn't sure what she can use.

The jar will be filled with pink M&Ms and those attending the run can guess how many candies are in the jar.

"They can guess the number, along with the score of the Iowa/Iowa State game," Reekers said, recognizing the possibilities that come with having fans of both schools around. "A little bit of rivalry is always fun. We don't want war, but a little bit of rivalry is good. We want them to support their team. We're kind of hoping they'll dress up their bike or dress up themselves, either in school colors or in pink. We'll have prizes for the person who shows the most spirit."

Food will be served after the run - a chili tailgating type of thing, Reekers said. "Hopefully, the weather will be cool enough that chili will taste good. A freewill donation will be accepted."

There will be gift certificates to use as prizes, and Tony Bacon from Curt Bacon's Body Shop has painted a toilet lid. Also, there are quilts in a bag from the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility and parking spaces at Amigo's for a year. Some will be used as prizes, some as silent auction items. A deejay will provide music.

"Some of the Fighting Angels Abreast dragonboat team will be helping us," Reekers said. "Last year I'd been helping with the dragonboat team and I got to meet some of the girls. I thought the fun run would be a perfect way to raise money for the girls."

Since then, she said, her daughter-in-law's mother has died of breast cancer, as has a former mother-in-law.

Those fighting cancer are pleased to get the extra help from the cancer center and all who donate to it.

Linda Johnson, of Eagle Grove, was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago and since has had surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

"When I was first diagnosed and was going to have treatment, I visited up there, knowing I was going to lose my hair, which was very traumatic," she said. "And they had hats available - and wigs. I think it's real helpful for people. You're losing your hair and might not want to go out to go shopping. Their generosity was just overwhelming."

Johnson, a first-grade teacher at Eagle Grove Elementary School, said she taught at the same time she had treatments and on a field trip to the cancer center, she got a headache and wanted to take off her wig, she asked for and received a scarf to wear.

"I had a lot of help from a lot of people," Johnson said. "I think people who take time to raise money for this are just tremendous."

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