Cloverbelt Conquers Cancer event at Columbus High School
A unique fundraising initiative, Cloverbelt Conquers Cancer involves all nine member schools of the Eastern Cloverbelt conference working together to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer, and has been a great success this year.
“We have been very successful thus far,” said Becky Dieringer, mother of pediatric cancer survivor and Columbus High School student Ryan Dieringer. “We have two events left as of today and have raised over $10,000. Our goal is $20,000 so we have some work left to do but we are excited that our goal is in reach.”
Shortly after Ryan was diagnosed, another student in the conference, Owen-Withee’s Will Maki, was also diagnosed with bone cancer. Maki passed away on January 30. As Central Wisconsin residents continue to mourn the loss of this amazing young man, it is more important than ever to support this cause.
“This cause is important because the incidence of pediatric cancer is on the rise. We want to make people aware of pediatric cancer and to be willing to help out their friends, neighbors or community members who may be in the fight of their life,” said Dieringer.
After Ryan finished treatment in early 2016 for Ewing’s sarcoma, he wanted to give back. “We were blessed with close friends and a tight knit community that helped us out when we needed it and he wanted to make sure other families could get some help if needed,” said Becky.
Becky and her husband Derek formed a committee with other parents and community members in the area and partnered with Marshfield Clinic in an effort to raise awareness for pediatric cancer.
Last year, the committee hosted “Hoops For Hope,” a one-time event held during the Owen-Withee/Columbus game that raised $6,000. With the goal of expanding their efforts, “The Cloverbelt Conquers Cancer” was born.
This year, events were held at Owen-Withee, Colby, Loyal, Neillsville, Greenwood, Granton, and Gilman. The big finale celebration will be held on Tuesday at Columbus High School in Marshfield (with Spencer’s twice snowed-out event to technically finish off the series on February 13th).
Each school organized its own unique event, but four different blind auction items traveled from school to school. Also available at each site was the opportunity to donate to the Cancer Survivor’s Wall or Warrior Wall, which honors the person of the donor’s choice.
“It was great to see the enthusiasm and creativity form each school,” said Dieringer.
Half of the donations will benefit the Marshfield Clinic Pediatric Oncology department and
will fund an Angel Fund that assists childhood cancer families with basic, non-medical needs such as rent or mortgage payments, car repairs, groceries, utility bills, and even gas cards to transport their children to appointments at the Clinic.
“Some of these families must travel hundreds of miles for their child to receive cancer care at Marshfield Clinic, and the angel funds help ease financial burdens on these families,” said Dieringer.
The other half will assist the Will Maki family.
“We should be so proud of the communities within Central Wisconsin that make up the Eastern Cloverbelt Conference,” she added. “They came together for an amazing cause and raised a substantial amount of money. They exemplify what is great about Central Wisconsin: Neighbors caring for neighbors!”
The penultimate game in “The Cloverbelt Conquers Cancer” series will take place on Tuesday, February 7 at Columbus Catholic High School. That night will include numerous basket raffles, a few halftime games, and a reading of all names form the Warrior Walls.
Watch the game live on Focus on Marshfield:
2/7/17: Owen-Withee @ Columbus Catholic – 7:15pm
For more information on the fundraiser itself, visit their Facebook page.
Donations are being accepted for this year’s event, and checks can be made out to: Cloverbelt Conquers Cancer and dropped at any Forward Financial Bank.