BP Cancer Group’s ‘Paint the Town Pink’ festivities commence

Published 10:03 am Wednesday, August 27, 2014

By Ashley Stewart

Owatonna People’s Press

BLOOMING PRAIRIE — The streets of Blooming Prairie are adorned with splotches of pink ribbons and flags in preparation for the Blooming Prairie Cancer Group’s biggest event of the year.

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“We have pink stuff going up all over the place,” said Cheri Krejci, a member of the cancer group.

On Sunday, Blooming Prairie High School National Honor Society students, volleyball players and football players helped the cancer group display 250 flags in its third annual Field of Flags display east of Highway 218, which honors and remembers those who have battled cancer, as well as placed pink ribbons throughout the city.

And that’s just the start of it.

Starting Monday, businesses and homeowners started decorating their front yards and displays to show their support of the cancer group’s “Paint the Town Pink” event, which leads up to the 14th annual Cancer Auction.

This year’s live auction will be at 7 p.m. on two day, Friday, Sept. 5, and Saturday, Sept. 6, under the big tent outside the Pizza Cellar in Blooming Prairie.

And there will be more pink to come.

Starting on Monday for its third year was the flamingo game. Individuals donate $10 to place flamingos in someone’s yard, and then the individual donated $10 to have them flamingos removed. That will continue until the auction.

“I helped move them from yard to yard the first year, and it was such a blast,” Krejci said.

The Blooming Prairie volleyball team will be sporting pink at their games this Thursday and Sept. 4, and this Friday, the football team will have its pink night against Mankato Loyola.

“All the seniors will have their pink warm-up jerseys,” Krejci said. “All of the senior boys have a pink jersey and the whole team is going to autograph one jersey that is going to be auctioned off on the Saturday night.”

For the second year, the Blooming Prairie Cancer Group is hosting its annual two-mile Memorial Walk at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, at the Field of Flags. The walk will take participants along a path marked with pink ribbons and decorations through Blooming Prairie.

Registration for the walk is from 8:30 to 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, but walkers may pre-register, too, by calling Mandy Doocy at 507-583-5084 or Ashley Valek at 507-676-2156 or stopping in at Krejci Ford. It costs $15 and includes a T-shirt, and a walk without a T-shirt is $10.

Krejci said last year during the inaugural Memorial Walk there were about 100 people.

“We were very happy with that,” she said.

Also, Saturday morning Rachel’s Salon will be offering $10 haircuts for Cutting for a Cure from 9 to 11 a.m. with all proceeds going to the cancer group. To make an appointment, call the salon at 507-583-4274.

On Saturday, the evening festivities will begin at 4:30 p.m. with family bingo. After bingo, the Blooming Prairiedrum corps, Stix of Fury, will perform at 6:30 p.m. and the live auction will begin at 7 p.m.

Krejci said at least 100 items will be auctioned off each night. Some items include an autographed Ford racing poster, a barn quilt making kit, a visit from Santa Clause on Christmas Eve in Blooming Prairie, and an electric Ford Mustang children’s car.

After the auction, the cancer group will raffle off three cash prizes: one for $1,000, another for $300 and the last for $200 in memory of Steve Prihoda, a local farmer who died from cancer.

Last year, the cancer group raised more than $46,000 during its weekend, and donated a record $57,000 to the Eagles Cancer Telethon, which is held in Rochester in January, and it also donated $3,500 to the Hormel Cancer Institute.

The cancer group was started in 2000 by the late Eunice Coughlin, and it raised $1,700 with a silent auction, dance and bake sale.

And in the last 13 years, Krejci said the cancer group has raised more than $446,000 with the community for cancer research and assistance.

The cancer group also puts money into the community fund that provides gas cards, restaurant coupons and lodging assistance to individuals and their families as they go through cancer treatment.

“People keep getting cancer and we just keep striving to help with cancer research and hope to find a cure,” Krejci said. “None of this would be possible without the whole community. I encourage everyone to come to the events.”