(Following is my column, which appeared in the Tues., Sept. 18th edition of the Devils Lake Journal http://www.devilslakejournal.com/ where I used to sell ads and write stories. Now I will just write stories as I have been named the Lifestyles Editor for the Devils Lake Journal. For more info about my hometown of Devils Lake, North Dakota, visit http://www.devilslakend.com)
I’ve experienced something new these last few weeks that has been extremely rewarding and fulfilling and made me proud to say I am part of the community of Devils Lake.
A couple of months ago a Journal co-worker, Bobbi Otis, was diagnosed with a benign, inoperable brain tumor and immediately traveled to Minneapolis to a hospital for further diagnosis and to begin treatment. She has been there since receiving daily doses of radiation (or zaps as Bobbi called them).
Soon after her treatment began, the staff here at the Journal began organizing a fund raiser to help with medical expenses. Here in Devils Lake, as I’m sure in other small midwestern communities, such benefits are often held to help out local folks in need. However, I don’t think growing up here I was ever involved in planning one or during my Big City Life days.
We made plans for all the benefit logistics – where to hold it, food to serve, auction items to obtain, etc. We also opted to have a bake sale the day before the benefit in the Journal lobby. I and other Journal employees volunteered to ask local businesses for auction items, and most everyone said yes without even raising an eyebrow. Money also began flowing in, including a check for $2,000 from a former DL resident living out East. Community members also volunteered their time to help with both the benefit at Lottas and the bake sale – by the way whoever made the pumpkin bread I purchased, it’s super yummy!
Lots of people turned out at Lotta’s Friday night for the benefit, and both the silent and a live auction were a huge success. It warms my heart and soul to see people be so generous, thoughtful and giving to help out a fellow community member. It’s North Dakota Nice at it’s very best!
Two other fund raising events for Bobbi also will be held this month. A local homeschooling group is holding a fundraiser at the Pizza Ranch Mon., Sept. 24, from 5-8 p.m. In addition, area musician Mike Michalski will perform Sat., Sept. 29 at the K.C. Hall at 8 p.m. (look for more details in the Journal soon.) I recall Mike being part of the Nitro Brothers back in the day, and I remember enjoying their music then so I hope to see you there!