Archived Story

Geneva Cancer Run set for next weekend

Published 11:58am Thursday, June 5, 2014

GENEVA — It may only be the third year the Geneva Cancer Run has taken place, but it’s steadily gained momentum each year and doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

Deeanne Randall first came up with the idea for the motorcycle run, and rides in it herself. Randall said the amount of people she and others she’s known who have been affected by cancer inspired the idea. Randall lost her grandparents and her best friends to the disease.

The June 14 ride is hosted by Geneva Bar & Grill, 101 W. Main St. in Geneva. Bar owner Barb Kuchenbecker handles most of the promotion and donation collection for the ride.

“It’s really exciting to see people bring in donations and open up their hearts,” Kuchenbecker said. “It’s for a good cause.”

Randall said the ride’s been something of a phenomenon. Its first year saw about 80 riders with about $4,000 in donations, and last year saw around 120 riders, even with rain, and $8,000 in donations. She said the goal this year is getting 200 riders, and she said donations have already doubled.

The ride is open to both motorcycles and cars. It leaves from and ends at the bar. Randall said the ride is about 115 miles. Registration begins 10 a.m. at the bar and the ride rolls at 11 a.m. The riders are expected back at the bar around 4:30 p.m. Each rider pays $10, which goes towards the benefit.

The silent auction bidding on the donated items begins at 10 a.m. and a live auction will begin once the riders have returned. Randall and Kuchenbecker both said donations vary, from a barbecue grill donated by Cabela’s to quilts to gift certificates.

There will be food, drinks and a photo booth. Live music will begin at 6:30 p.m. with bands 3-Lane and Bad Monkey performing.

Tents and campers are also welcome to camp at Geneva City Park.

Area businesses and community members donate items to be auctioned off, while riders donate money, with all proceeds being divided between the Geneva Cancer Auction for research and local families dealing with cancer and the financial strain that can come with it.

Family donations are all given to local families. Randall said money has gone to people in Geneva, Ellendale, Albert Lea and Owatonna, to name a few. Anyone interested in nominating someone to receive donations can email Randall at deeannerandall@gmail.com.

“We stay local,” Randall said, “A part of Geneva. … Everyone holds hands and works together.”

Randall’s favorite part about the ride is being able to see the looks on people’s faces when they receive some of the donated funds. Just last week Randall delivered a donation to a woman in Owatonna who turned out to be someone she had waitressed with 30 years ago.

“She said she had literally been talking about how to pay for gas that week when we knocked on her door,” said Randall.

With the money from last year’s fundraiser, they were able to do just that.

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