FAIRMONT– People struggling with an illness or condition need the support of family, friends and the community. Coaches Vs. Cancer aims to provide support to members of the community who are battling cancer. The event will take place during the Fairmont boys’ basketball game against Blue Earth Area on Friday, February 4.
This will be the 7th year of the event although it hasn’t happened for the past two years due to Covid. Deb Heinrich and Kelly Quiring have run the event for the past four years.
“This is an event to educate student-athletes and show them how they can help their family and friends who are going through cancer. said Heinrich.
“We usually try to hold on in a double header of boys and girls games, but they don’t have one together this year. We thought Blue Earth is nearby and will draw a crowd,” said Quiring.
The evening includes several events that will all serve as fundraisers. There will be a raffle with a variety of approximately 40 items donated by families or businesses. Items include a Cardinal plaid blanket from D&S Trophyes, a medallion from Sovell Jewelry and 100 cards from Minuteman Press. Raffle tickets are one for $2 or three for $5.
“At halftime, we will draw a winner for each of the elements,” said Quiring.
Anyone can also purchase a paper basketball for $10 in memory or in honor of someone with cancer. The balls will be taped to the wall for display during the match.
“The young girls who attended the dance clinic will perform at halftime, which will be valuable and also attract more people,” said Heinrich.
She also said that at half-time a basket will be given out so those who feel compelled to donate change or cash will have the opportunity to do so.
“When we chose this date we had a very short turnaround time, but due to the needs of the community we felt it was really important to move forward and get this in place and to do our best in a timely manner”, said Heinrich.
She said coaches, students and the community have been very supportive of the event and all of the companies she has contacted have been generous and willing to help. Sami Jo Helmers-Nelson of the local chapter of the American Cancer Society also worked with Heinrich and Quiring.
At the last Coaches Vs. Cancer event two years ago, nearly $6,000 was raised. All of the money raised at this year’s event will be split three ways, with some going to the Martin County Relay for Life, some going to the Lutz Cancer Center at Fairmont, and some going to pediatric cancer.
“There are a few teammates who are going through cancer or their family members, so we like to help them too,” said Quiring.
She said this event is a good way for students to see how they can support their own classmates or family members with cancer.
“You don’t have to do anything big, just do something, no matter how small, it makes a difference.” said Quiring.
The event is deeply personal for both Heinrich and Quiring. Heinrich’s husband, Rod, died of cancer in 2014 and Kelly’s husband, Randy, in 2016.
“So many people were there to help and support us. It really touches your heart. So if we can help other families going through cancer, we’re doing our best in hosting this event,” said Quiring.
“Our husbands would want the community to be aware of never giving up. There are ways to help people through this ordeal. Everyone is so ready to come out and help out and that’s really cool,” said Heinrich.
If anyone would like to donate money, a raffle item, or purchase a basketball, they can contact Heinrich at 507-236-3287.