Police officers ready to help kick cancer

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 25, 2006

By Kari Lucin, staff writer

A group of 12 police officers and their spouses have formed Cops Kicking Cancer, a fundraising team for this year’s American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

&8220;We lost a good friend of ours last year to cancer, the maid of honor in our wedding. We have another good friend who’s in remission,&8221; Andy Johnson of the Albert Lea Police Department said.

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&8220;We saw a few good friends get hit and it was a little close to home, and we figured we’d get off our butts and try to do something to help.&8221;

From their home in Albert Lea and at Andy’s workplace &045; the Freeborn County Government Center &045; they have been organizing their Relay for Life team and a fundraiser.

The Johnsons and the rest of the Cops Kicking Cancer team will host a team fundraiser lunch

from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday outside the Government Center. They will serve hot dogs and bratwurst donated by Schweigert Foods on buns donated by Hy-Vee.

The only expenses for the lunch will be for the pop, condiments and chips, so nearly all the money received will be profit for the Relay for Life. And 80 percent of the money raised for the Relay for Life stays in Freeborn County.

&8220;I went to it last year and saw the Relay, and was very impressed with how it went,&8221; Andy said. &8220;I gave them my business card and said if they needed help next year, call us.&8221;

This year Andy and Sara are on the Relay’s Sponsorship Committee, in charge of contacting businesses to donate to the Relay.

At the lunch, their team will also have luminary bags available and will take free will donations.

The Wall of Hope, a large banner with a Relay for Life emblem, will be at the event. Anyone interested in keeping government funding for cancer research can sign the Wall. Eventually, the Wall will make its way to Washington D.C.