BLOOMING PRAIRIE — For a town with a population under 2,000, Blooming Prairie was bustling with action as the place to be over the weekend.
Aside from the first home football game for the Awesome Blossoms on Friday night and the 100-plus motorcycles that roared into town for Jacob’s Run on Saturday, under the big tent by the Cue Company was where you could catch most of the action.
Organized by the Blooming Prairie Cancer Group, the 19th annual Blooming Prairie Cancer Auction drew in people from all over the surrounding area to get on the “fun” part of fundraising. The event kicked off on Friday night with the first of two live auctions, each presenting more than 100 most-have items.
“To get $1,600 for a signed Adam Thielen jersey is amazing,” said Cheri Krejci with the Cancer Group.
Krejci also awed over the amount of money Hope Butter brought in, selling 96-pounds at roughly $25/pound.
“We have such great donors and great support and great people who come out each year to bid,” Krejci gushed. “We put in a lot of work, but when we get to reap the benefits to help other people, that’s the best. It makes it all worth it.”
Money raised over the weekend will go to a variety of areas. A large portion each year goes to the Eagles Telethon for Cancer Research as well as to the Hormel Institute in Austin — a sector of the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center and National Cancer Institution Comprehensive Center. The rest of the money goes into the BP Cancer Group’s community fund, which assists cancer patients in Blooming Prairie and the surrounding area in a variety of ways from gas cards to paying utility bills.
Saturday morning the fun began with a gathering in Central Park for the “Running Over Cancer” 5k Run/Walk. Krejci said about 75 runners signed up for the race this year, a number that organizers were more than pleased with. The $5 haircuts — affectionately named “Cutting for a Cure” — were also in Central Park throughout most of the day Saturday, moving from their original location at the Field of Flags along Highway 218.
Overall, Krejci said they made about $70,000 during the weekend with a few more dollars still rolling in this week.
“It was just all good,” Krejci said about the weekend. “We all had a very nice time and we made a lot of money so we are happy.”
Coming up on Thursday will be Gun Bingo, a new event for the Cancer Group styled after the Designer Purse Bingo that has continued to grow in popularity among the women of Blooming Prairie. The bingo prizes will be shotguns and hunting rifles through a series of 10 games for $50. Gun Bingo will take place at the Blooming Prairie Servicemen’s Club beginning at 7 p.m. Doors will open on hour prior to the first game. Tickets are limited and can be purchased by calling Connie Trom at 507-456-8431.
Next year, the Cancer Auction will be celebrating its 20th anniversary — a milestone that Krejci said they are already geared up and excited for, promising that they have a few tricks up their sleeves to celebrate.