If you need proof that just a few people can start a movement to inspire a community with hope and togetherness, this is it.
The 17th annual American Cancer Society Sole Burner of Chaseburg is Saturday. It takes place at the Chaseburg Village Park.
Each time, it gets bigger and better with lots of smaller fundraisers throughout the year. This Saturday is the main event.
Linda DeGarmo told Z93 this all started in 2006, after they had been involved with the Viroqua Relay for Life for years.
“Chaseburg put in a new walking trail and we thought, ‘You know, maybe we should try our own walk down here,'” DeGarmo said. “The ACS gave us permission and our first year they gave us a goal of $15,000. We blew it out of the water making $35,000 the first year. This year our goal is $120,000.”
The fundraising total is already well over $100,000 days before the event.
DeGarmo added that since 2006, Sole Burner has raised over $1.5 million for the American Cancer Society.
There’s a whole lot more to Saturday’s event than the walk.
There will be a Chicken-Q, bake sale and soup kitchen, as well as kids activities, health fair (with a sauna), vendor sales and a blood drive with the American Red Cross.
Eric Ostrem added, “Over half the blood donated goes to cancer patients so it’s very important that we get people to donate blood.”
DeGarmo also highlighted that they celebrate survivors.
“Anybody that’s a cancer survivor out there that wants to come, we give them gifts,” she said. “So it’s an it’s a nice thing for them. We celebrate families. It’s a healing day.”