Fundraiser for Ellis students set for Saturday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 28, 2002

Many will join hands Saturday to help two Ellis Middle School students and others.

It's the Join Hands With Ally and Friends fund-raising project.

Beginning noon Saturday at Wescott Field, participants in the fund-raiser will seek to raise money for Ally Hicks, who has non-Hodgkins lymphoma cancer and another Ellis seventh grader whose family requested anonymity, according to organizers.

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Students from the lower elementary schools, Ellis Middle School and Austin High School, as well as adults from the community, are embracing a common cause.

A week ago, an assembly attracted over 1,200 students who are rallying around the cause, according to Mark Roberts, co-chairperson for the June 1 event..

Roberts and Rhonda Anderson are coordinating the event, but said

On Friday, Austin Public Schools students returned pledges from the hundreds of supporters. Students will walk or run around the new running track at Wescott Field.

According to Roberts, the Hicks' are incurring thousands of dollars of medical expenses for the chemotherapy treatments for their daughter.

The June 1 Lutheran Brotherhood/AAL sponsored event is an opportunity, according to Roberts, to help two young victims and screen for potential donors to help others.

Roberts said he is amazed at the enthusiasm for the vent.

"We expect 200 or more participants Saturday," said Roberts "The community is really rallying behind this cause."

The event will take place at noon Saturday at Wescott Field.

Other donations may be left at the site in addition to the monies being pledged the walkers and runners.

US Bank Austin is also collecting contributions for the charitable cause.

Three local supermarkets, CashWise Food and Drugs, HyVee Food Store and Jim's Super Value, will provide refreshments for the participants

Also Saturday, bone marrow screening will be provided thanks to a "generous donation" from Weyerhaeuser Paper Company, according to Roberts.

The screening will allow interested persons to become potential bone marrow donors.

Roberts and Anderson are coordinating the event for the newly-merged Lutheran Brotherhood/AAL branch No. 8198.

There will be other activities held Saturday at Wescott Athletic Field, including a visit by the Minnesota Army National Guard, and Austin Medical Center nurses station and supervised drop-in center for small children, who can't join their parents on the walk/run.

The events will be held rain or shine. In case of severely inclement weather, the event will involve the collection of contributions only and the bone-marrow screening, Roberts said.

Lee Bonorden can be contacted at 434-2232 or by e-mail at