‘It’s about raising money to fight cancer’

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Ricke: Gary Ziegler would want the LAC to be about carrying on the fight

There’s always been a lot of emotion surrounding the Lyle Area Cancer Auction.

In many ways, it’s a celebration of the good that comes from raising over $3.5 million for cancer research over the span of 44 years. Yet, in other ways there’s always the remembrances of those faces no longer at the auction or in people’s lives. In that respect, this year’s LAC will be heavier than usual. People will be missing one of the LAC’s biggest personalities in Gary Ziegler, who passed away late last year.

“It’s going to be pretty damn emotional with the loss of Gary,” said LAC chair Larry Ricke. “He was my right hand guy. My names guy, my numbers guy. It’s going to be hard on the LAC family. It’s going to be hard on his immediate family, but we’ll get through it.”

Email newsletter signup

Ziegler will no doubt be honored this weekend. One of those occasions will be something special, still to be revealed, revolving around a pair of big Red Wing boots and organized by Larry and Barb Bissen.

Gary Ziegler puts in a free-will donation as another car drives up during the Lyle Area Cancer Auction in 2021. Herald file photo

But at the same time, anybody who has known Ziegler will know how he felt about the LAC. While there will be plenty of memories and occasions throughout the two-day event, everybody will remember the true point of the LAC and it’s something Ziegler would remind them of if he could.

“The thing with Gary is he would say ‘it’s not about me,’” Ricke said. “It’s about raising money to fight cancer. I will emphasize that at the auction as much as I can.”

To that end, the LAC is coming into its 45th year having raised $212,500 last year. Ricke stressed that each year of the auction is another reminder of how much the efforts are working.

“It hurts when you lose family, it hurts when you lose friends no matter what,” he said. “It’s a huge disease that’s a killer, yet we have to believe in a world that will find a cure and believe me it gets better year after year. We know where our money goes and it is working.”

The auction will start Friday night and will go from 6-11 p.m. It will continue Saturday with the kitchen at the Lyle American Legion opening at noon and the auction starting at 1 p.m.

The auction itself will be held at the Lyle City Maintenance Building.

Ricke said that people can still donate, even as late as Saturday if they have something new to donate. Organizers are requesting no used items be donated.

Looking over the span of the previous four years and into the future, Ricke is excited about what comes next. He said all involved are looking forward to a day when they can concentrate on something else, but for now, its finding a cure for cancer.

“What’s the next thing we’re going to do?” Ricke said. “We’re not going to think about that now.”

“It’s gratifying,” he added. “We’re playing a huge part and we’re bringing people together.”

If you are willing to donate, call those listed below for pick-up times:

• Russ — 440-3793

• Teresa — 440-0314

• Don — 386-478-3227

• Larry — 438-7984

• Amanda — 438-9918

• Jodi — 383-9884

• Jeff — 219-9837

• Cindy — 438-0113

• Roberta — 440-8086

• Carrie — 438-0312

• Angie — 438-3979

Donations can also be dropped off at:

Country Side Auto in the Austin area between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Agri Steel in the Lyle Area between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Lyle Legion after 6 p.m.

Gordy’s Implement between 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Stacyville, Iowa area.