Kiester battles cancer and helps patients

Published 9:40 am Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Submitted photo Shown are the people who donated the pink 1942 John Deere B tractor to the Kiester for a Cure event: Jeff and Jodi Willaby, Mike and Lynne Langfald, Martin and Susan Korn and Carl Langfald. Not pictured is Alyssa Langfald. -- Submitted photo

KIESTER — This small town of about 500 people will again join together to raise funds to support local families affected by cancer and local hospices and cancer treatment centers.

Kiester for a Cure starts Friday evening at Kee Lanes, and even though all the shifts are filled anyone can still stop by to watch. There will also be a dance at the Kiester Legion featuring the band Walking Eagle, who have donated their time to the cause.

“It’s just a good day for the community,” Linda Willaby, one of the event’s organizers, said. “It’s fun to see everybody supporting a good cause.”

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The event continues Saturday with a silent auction being held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the former Kiester school building. A dinner will be served from 3:30 to 7 p.m., and will feature a drive-in-style menu with burger baskets and root beer floats to follow the events theme, which is “Cruisin’ for a Cure.” The food was all donated by the elevator in Kiester, and donations will be accepted for the meal. There will also be bingo at 2 p.m. at Forever Berma’s, and all proceeds will be donated to the cause.

A live auction at the former school building will begin at 8 p.m., and will feature an unusual big-ticket item. A group of donors got together to restore a 1942 John Deere B and had it painted pink and white.

Other items include a 32-inch flatscreen TV, jewelry, housewares, home-baked goods, many gift certificates and more. After the live auction there will be a dance with a DJ.

Organizers said funds raised go to helping families in the area with medical expenses if they’re affected by cancer, to local hospices and to the Cancer Center at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea. Willaby said once they started telling people exactly where the money was going, the event started growing because people like to help local causes.

“They like to see their funds stay local,” Willaby said. “The need here in southern Minnesota is so huge.”

This is the event’s fourth year, and last year it raised $30,000. Organizers hope to meet or exceed that amount this year. The event is open to the public.