The 2017 Mud Dog snowmobile ride successfully logged more than 250 trail miles in memory of Eric Skogman and to benefit Rein In Sarcoma. The group of four (with additional riders/support persons joining on day two) rode from the Mille Lacs area to Grand Rapids on Feb 8 - 9, ending at the 2017 MN USA Winter Swowmobile Rendezvous.
A total of over $5000 was raised in support of the Mud Dog Ride, including an anonymous $2,000 Mud Dog Challenge Grant. Thanks to the Mud Dog participants and everyone who donated in support of the ride!
On Sunday, January 29th Rein in Sarcoma hosted our largest Winter Gathering to date. Over 100 people were entertained and inspired to live our best lives even after a sarcoma diagnosis. We were inspired to create joy out of trials, to appreciate the small things, and to laugh and smile whenever possible.
The afternoon began with Rein in Sarcoma President Pete Wyckoff giving the audience an introduction to Rein in Sarcoma. Wyckoff spoke about who we serve and what we do as a Foundation. He touched on how we support patients, how we help sarcoma scholars, and how we fund research for sarcoma treatments. He encouraged guests to get involved with Rein in Sarcoma as everyone has talents they can offer. You can read more about our volunteer opportunities here.
Next, 2017 Party in the Park Chair Chelsey Olafson gave a compelling talk encouraging guests to sign up to volunteer at our largest event this summer. Party in the Park will be held on Monday, July 24th. Olafson touched on many of the volunteer opportunities available, while adding that this is a highly entertaining, family-friendly event which will be open to the general public.
The afternoon continued to be highly engaging and entertaining when local comedian Tim Gabrielson performed live magic tricks and invited two audience members to perform with him. One of his tricks with audience participation and numbers left us all amazed and perplexed. Gabrielson made us laugh at several jokes, including his joke that animal crackers were made for vegetarians. Throughout his presentation Gabrielson encouraged us to smile more often and be warm and engaging to others to make the world a better place. He had a compelling message that if we choose to have a positive outlook we are likely to be happier. At the close of the event Gabrielson was gracious in meeting with audience members and autographing copies of his book, Lemons to Laughter.
A day after a highly successful Winter Gathering, the RIS Board met for its annual meeting which closed out a very successful 2016 and initiated major plans for this year.
Tom Dougherty reported that the organization grew by almost 30% in 2016 furthering our mission and allowing us to make significant strategic decisions for 2017. The Board approved $125,000 in new Sarcoma research grants at the University of Minnesota that will soon be made public. Funding of the RIS Sarcoma Scholars at both at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Medical Schools was recommitted for the 2017-2018 academic year. In addition, the Board approved a second 2017 Research Funding grant round for later this year that will focus on additional research institutions.
The Board thanked Katie Dusenbery, MD for being a charter Board member having served on the Board and providing key leadership since RIS was created in 2001. Five new members joined our Board and two are continuing for an additional three-year term (related article).
Talent and Resources Committee made a recommendation to move ahead with the hiring of a RIS Executive Director, which was approved by the Board and will most likely take place during the second quarter of this year.