2018 Party in the Park Highlights

It was another beautiful evening for Rein in Sarcoma’s 18th annual “Party in the Park.” The attendees found good food,  conversation, fun and moving experiences throughout the evening. The event was an opportunity for Rein in Sarcoma to advance our mission to raise sarcoma awareness, provide patient and family support, and support sarcoma research. Thanks to everyone who attended, volunteered, and contributed to the event’s success!

The festivities kicked off with the annual Sarcoma Family Picnic, sponsored by the University of Minnesota, and supported through a substantial in-kind-gift from D'Amico Catering. Sunflower corsages and bouquets welcomed sarcoma survivors, loved ones, and those directly touched by sarcoma. At dusk, the event closed with a thoughtful ceremony including lighted luminaries, the presentation of Named Funds, music, and fire dancing.

Sarcoma Family Picnic


Sarcoma Family Picnic

Sarcoma patients, survivors, loved ones and those who have lost a loved one to sarcoma mingled with doctors, veterinarians and researchers from the University of Minnesota, the Mayo Clinic and Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. New connections were formed among a community joined together by personal connection to sarcoma. As the picnic closed, the "Dirty Shorts Brass Band" entertained the crowd and led them "New Orleans" style up the hill to the Party in the Park.

Allan and Kevin - Survivors

Goldy with picnickers

Opening Program

The opening program, sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, celebrated the progress of the organization, the generosity of sponsors, the contributions of medical and research teams, and the stories of survivors. Rein in Sarcoma Executive Director, Janelle Calhoun, thanked our corporate sponsors: Walser-Subaru, Mayo Clinic, University of Minnesota Cancer Care, Minnesota Oncology, Ergodyne, Health Partners, and D'Amico Catering. Mayo Clinic and Rein in Sarcoma board member, Dr. Scott Okuno, introduced doctors and researchers from the University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, and Regions Hospital (HealthPartners).

Sarcoma researchers, doctors and vets

Fifteen-year-old, Maggie Cappelen from Mahtomedi High School opened the main stage entertainment for local Twin Cities band, Sarah Morris and the Sometimes Guys. Sarah opened the program with an original song titled “Brighter.” She closed the opening program with the inspirational song, “Home Sweet Home.”

Opening Act

Sarah Morris and the Sometimes Guys

Judy Jones of Rochester, Minnesota, shared her sarcoma journey of the past five years - diagnosed with stage IV synovial sarcoma in her hip, she endured several surgeries, chemo and radiation. She concluded with these thoughts, "Today I am so grateful to be alive, continue to have good check-ups, only need a cane for mobility, can drive, and enjoy my "new normal" life.  Thanks to Rein in Sarcoma for all their efforts educating doctors and their efforts in connecting sarcoma patients with each other."

Judy Jones

Tom Boardman

Tom Boardman, Development Committee Chair, announced upcoming fundraisers and events, including the University of Minnesota sponsored Chainbreaker bike ride, the Rein in Sarcoma Charity Golf tournament, and the RIS fall formal fundraising event.

Carousel Rides

Always one of most meaningful parts of the Party is the first ride on Cafesjian's Carousel which is reserved for sarcoma patients, survivors, sarcoma doctors and researchers. The crowd roared and cheered on the 50 plus sarcoma survivors as they rode the carousel to "rein in sarcoma!" Following the initial tribute ride, all were invited to ride the carousel for the rest of the evening.

Tribute Carousel Ride

Children and Family Activities

Family fun is a hallmark of the Party in the Park and this year's Party continued that grand tradition including:
The Children’s Arcade - Dozens of new and returning games delighted and honed the skills of participants of all ages.
Face Painting and Glitter Ink Tattoos - Kids of all ages became the pallet for works of art.
Sarcoma Garden of Hope - Thanks to the ongoing support of Elphis Enterprises, dozens of wonderful bird feeders were built and decorated.
“Wendy's Wiggle, Jiggle and Jam” - Wendy Garon Baldinger provided great family entertainment.
Superheroes - Super Girl, Captain America and Spiderman joined us for the Party. The kids (and those young at heart) were delighted to greet and pose for pictures with the superheroes.

Wendy's wiggle jiggle and jam

bird house making


Sarcoma Corner

The beautiful Centennial Garden was the setting for Sarcoma Corner, which highlighted the stories of hope from sarcoma survivors and honored the memories of those lost to sarcoma. In this beautiful setting attendees could learn about our educational programs at the Red Flags of Sarcoma exhibit, meet our 2018-19 Sarcoma Scholars and our new Health Programs Coordinator, Naomi Bowman. The RIS Sarcoma Patient Starter Notebook was there for patients and families to look at and request if they had not received one from their doctor, as well as provide valuable input for the next revision. Many of the attendees used this beautiful setting to sit a minute and reflect among the beautiful flowers and the relative quiet.

Sarcoma Corner

Sarcoma Corner

Hair cuts

Attendees Support the RIS Mission

Party in the Park continues to be a major fundraising event supporting our mission. Returning activities included the ever-popular adult Ring Toss, Silent Auction and Raffle, Merchandise, Concessions, Barber and Massage.

Closing Program and Ceremony

Sponsored by Mayo Clinic and emceed by Dr. Scott Okuno.
Our recently named 2018-2019 Sarcoma Scholars were introduced by Dr. Katie Dusenbery and Dr. Okuno. Read more about the new scholars.


2018-19 Sarcoma Scholars

Dr. Dusenbery, Kyle Lau, Alexander Kuehn, Taylor Weiskittel, Mylan Blomquist and Dr. Okuno (not pictured: Colleen Bell)

Janelle Calhoun and Board President, Deb Cossette, dedicated four new RIS Named Funds, telling the remarkable sarcoma stories of each of these individuals: Thomas Worthley, Chelsey Olafson, Annette Bonaventura and Judy Jones. In addition, 28 continuing named funds were recognized with candles and photos in honor of each of these persons in a special tribute area. Learn more about RIS Named Funds and the persons honored.


Sarah Morris returned to the stage to sing “Over the Rainbow” with Lisa Griebel and Roger Jones reading the names of sarcoma survivors and those lost to sarcoma that were on lighted luminaries. These candles filled our evening with a special brightness that comes from the love, compassion and joyful memories we hold for our family members and friends with sarcoma cancer. It was a moving moment for everyone. Sarah and the Sometimes Guys then brought the evening to a close accompanying the Fire Dancers with a great performance of “Higher and Higher”.

Our thanks to the over 150 Party in the Park volunteers and volunteer manager, Nancy Hendrickson, and the incredible work of Pat Minor and his family and friends in coordinating and orchestrating the logistics of this amazing evening.

2018 Party in the Park Slideshow

Our great thanks to our 2018 Party photographers: Karen Eckman, Pete Wyckoff, Colleen McDonald, Bill Donovan, Ruth Hoban, and videographer, Marty Turner. Relive the Picnic and Party and download your favorites.

Sarcoma Family Picnic:

Party in the Park:

Photo Booth: