How does a town unite around a loss? How do you make laughter, fun, excitement, and commemorate a loss of a beautiful four year old girl? For the Rogotzke Family and the community of Sanborn , MN you come together to celebrate with an old fashioned “Kickball Tournament”.
Last year thirteen teams, 200+ players, supporters and volunteers gathered in Sanborn, Minnesota for the third annual Anna Rogotzke Memorial Kickball Tournament. On July 19th these teams, the Rogotzke family and the Sanborn community will play their hearts out in support of finding cures for sarcoma cancers. They will run, kick, laugh and just plain have a lot of fun as they honor and remember the life of Anna Rogotzke who died of Rhabdomyosarcoma on her 4th birthday in 2010. Rogotzke Family
In its first three years the Anna Rogotzke Memorial Kickball Tournament has raised over $28,000 to support Rein in Sarcoma and CureSearch. Anna’s parents, Jim and Becky came up with the idea as their way “to honor Anna’s memory and raise money to find cures that can really make a difference for children like Anna.” Their family immediately offered leadership. The Sanborn community quickly embraced the Tournament which has now become an eagerly anticipated community event. The fourth annual tournament will be held Saturday, July 19th. To learn more about this July’s tournament, click here. If you would like to read Anna’s story or contribute to the Anna Rogotzke Fund click here.
Grassroots events like “Anna Rogotzke Kick Ball Tournament”, the “Celebration of Life” for Mark Wehner held in May or the “Mud Dog Snowmobile Ride” held in January, all achieve the great success they do not just because of the major issue at hand but because of the zeal and efforts of the people who are working diligently behind the scenes. For these people, what they do is more than work or a job, it demonstrates a frame of mind. This attitude is one of genuine enthusiasm, persistent determination and an unyielding will to do good.
For example the profound impact that music can have on listeners of all age ranges and of all time periods is a tale as old as time. Every beat and note is a smaller part of a greater force; a force that has the ability to bring together our stories and emotions in a way that connects us with not only ourselves, but also, everyone else. Former teacher and Choir Director, Mark Wehner, instills this very idea within his students and all those around him day in and day out; inspiring people to use music as a creative outlet and as a gateway to being a leader for the greater good of society. For years Mr. Wehner has filled the lives of his friends and family with his music and wisdom, but after being diagnosed with Sarcoma Cancer in 2000, his loved ones realized that it was time to return the gesture. Former students of Mr. Wehner organized the event “A Celebration of Life” which is now on its fourth year. With the help of the community and fellow supporters the event has raised over $8600 for the cause, proving that the best way to ensure that the future is headed in the right direction is to lead it yourself.
The annual RIS Mud Dog Ride is another Grassroots example that has greatly contributed to the ongoing fight against Sarcoma Cancer. Eric Skogman, as a sarcoma survivor gave back to the community with his creation of the RIS Mud Dog Ride. After his death close friends of Eric, Pat Bourgeois and Joe Mellethin along with many others opted to saddle up, dedicate and continue a snowmobile ride to honor their friend and others that have lost the battle as well as those who are currently fighting.
The ride last February raised an incredible $7000 for Rein in Sarcoma and as their success continues to grow so does their hope that someday a cure will be found for this disease.
Individuals working together are what lie at the very center of many successful initiatives because the foundation and construction of the movement are built by those who act out of the good of their own heart. It is because the of deeply engaged members of the Rogotzke family and the Sanborn Community, The Celebration of Life community and the intrepid snowmobilers that ride in memory of Eric that keep alive the possibility that there will be an end to this disease.
Their support has enabled the foundation to gain more research and provide new resources for the public. Their commitment has allowed for a never ending stream of support for those who need it. Like music, Grassroots events are fueled by the passionate with the intention to unite people of common interests and feelings.
Whether it be music, events, athletic tournaments, tea sales, a celebration of a birthday or a milestone of survivorship, you can be apart of the grassroots support which is the key to Rein in Sarcoma success to date. If you have an idea or would like help in being apart of our grassroots support, click here.