Benefit Saturday for Becky Bergstrom

It is a cancer rarely seen in someone her age, or her gender.

And yet, Becky Bergstrom of Austin has it –but with the help of friends and family, at least some of the pressures of being a cancer patient might be alleviated.

A “Fighting with Becky Bergstrom Benefit” will begin at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Eagles Club, featuring food, a silent and live auction, as well as live music, provided by True North. Funds raised will help off-set medical and travel costs.

While undergoing an unrelated procedure, a mass was found in Becky Bergstrom’s abdomen — a rare, unusual cancer found almost universally in men.

Called desmoplastic small-round-cell tumor, the cancer comes in multiple tumors located throughout the abdomen. It usually occurs in young males

Bergstrom, 40, a substitute teacher and the mother of three, has been seen by three medical centers — Mayo, Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York and MD Anderson Center in Houston, Texas. To date, surgery has not been an option and Bergstrom is undergoing chemotherapy.

Her cousin Geri Tollefson, one of the organizers of the benefit with other family members, said the Austin community, friends and neighbors have been wonderful supports for the couple. Many may know Dan from his work with Austin Electric and the children are active in school. Some have paid for parking passes for appointments and others have made payment on utilities for the couple to help with expenses, Tollefson said.

For the auctions, she added, “Companies have donated big baskets of food; Banfield Elementary School donated 12 gift baskets,” she said.

“And the Eagles have been wonderful, helping with food prep, use of ovens,” she said.

The auctions will be held from 4-7 p.m., with music by Truth North beginning at 7 p.m. Meals of pulled pork, hot dogs, salads and other goodies will be served from 4-7 p.m. as well, by free-will donation.

The live auction will offer a week’s vacation package, tickets to the Minnesota Wild, Minnesota Men’s Basketball (which includes club level and parking), and Women Gophers. A quarter beef will also be auctioned off.

At the silent auction, a range of items will be sold, from gift baskets to mystery boxes.

“It is going to be huge and it’s going to be fun,” Tollefson said.

Donation draws will also be held and a raffle for items such as a Mathews Halon bow (first place), Perception fishing kayak (second place) and Yeti cooler (third place) will be held.

Matt Nielsen of Nielsen Livestock will do the auctioneering.

Organizers hope “everyone will come out,” Tollefson said. “And we really want to stress how wonderful those companies and friends are who have already donated items” to the event.

Tollefson also said anyone who needed to utilize the couple 501c3 for non-profit status could do so  by making a donation out to the Dave “Tolly” Tollefson Memorial Cancer Foundation; or donations can be made for the Bergstroms by sending it to Geri Tollefson, 405 20th St. NW, Austin, MN 55912.

News

Deadly ATV crashes on pace to surpass last year’s total

Business

Expanding Opportunity: Austin Ford Chrysler breaks ground on addition, renovation

Mower County

Volunteers are needed for the statewide bumble bee survey

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Convictions June 3-10

Mower County

MnDOT asks motorists, riders to safely share the road during motorcycle convention in Rochester

Mower County

City of Austin to spray for mosquitoes

Mower County

Ikes to host steak cookout

Education

Education: Accolades

Blooming Prairie

Education: Blooming Prairie Honor Roll

Mower County

In Your Community: Duplicate Bridge

Mower County

In Your Community: Mower County Senior Center

News

Family of bystander killed during Minneapolis police pursuit files lawsuit against the city

News

Supreme Court strikes down Trump-era ban on rapid-fire rifle bump stocks, reopening political fight

Agriculture

New influenza testing rule for dairy cows going to Minnesota fairs

Mower County

Warrant issued for Jeffer Lorenzo after he fails to show for sentencing

News

Unanimous Supreme Court preserves access to widely used abortion medication

News

Audit finds Minnesota agency’s lax oversight fostered theft of $250M from federal food aid program

Adams

Partnerships celebrated during community event for Mower, Fillmore solar installations

Mower County

Mayo Ambulance training program hopes to increase EMT numbers

Business

Workforce Development one of nine organizations to receive funding to train underrepresented workers for clean energy careers

News

Minneapolis police officer killed while responding to a shooting call is remembered as a hero

Mower County

Documentary follows AHS class across 50 years

Mower County

2024 Friendship Wagon Train coming to the area

Agriculture

New funding available for continuous living cover grants