Auction is fun way to fight cancer |

Auction is fun way to fight cancer

Cancer. It’s just one word. But it’s one word that changes lives forever. My family and I have been personally touched by cancer. Chances are, you too, have been affected by this one word.

Statistically, there will be more than 106,000 Americans who will be diagnosed with blood-related cancers next year. More than 58,000 will die. That’s over 50 percent. Staggering statistics. These people are our loved ones, friends, neighbors and co-workers.

Eight years ago was the first time cancer became personal for me. A good friend’s husband died from complications of lymphoma. He died one week before his second wedding anniversary and left his wife with a 6-month-old son. Life just isn’t fair sometimes. What makes Loren’s story even more puzzling is the fact that he was the picture of fitness. He climbed Mt. Everest, cycled across America, and competed in the most extreme adventure sports. Yet, he died of cancer at 36 years of age.

Six years ago was when I got my chance to help families, like my good friend, fight this deadly disease. And, I found a way to do it by doing what I love – through sport.

I had a goal to complete my first triathlon, but wasn’t sure how to accomplish the training. I learned about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training program through a friend. She wanted to complete her first marathon but, like me, didn’t know how to adequately train for this milestone.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma’s Team In Training program is one of the most successful fundraising programs nationwide. During its 17-year history, the TNT program has experienced tremendous growth. Millions of dollars have been raised to aid in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s quest to find a cure for Leukemia and its related cancers (lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma). TNT offers any person, regardless of their level of fitness or ability, a comprehensive training program with the guidance of coaches, mentors and a highly energetic environment of fellow trainees. In turn, TNT athletes have committed to reaching a personal fundraising goal. My goal for my first triathlon was $3,200. Three-quarters of all fundraising goes to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s research funds. I did my first triathlon in St. Petersburg, Fla., and all travel and accommodations were coordinated by our local TNT chapter. Athletes just had to focus on training and fundraising.

I have since completed more than 15 triathlons, but will always remember the impact – mentally, physically and spiritually – that I experienced through TNT. It was, by far, the most rewarding and challenging time I have ever experienced through sport.

Fast forward to 2006. This year my husband, Steve, and I have once again committed to TNT. We will be doing America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride at Lake Tahoe on June 4. We have committed to raise $4,200 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma’s TNT program. This is my second race with TNT and Steve’s third.

Here is where you can help. We need the community’s support for the Bachelor and Bachelorette auction we are hosting May 16 at the Riva Grill. The evening is for everyone in the community, singles and couples alike. There will be a scrumptious menu of hors d’oeuvres, a carving station consisting of baron of beef served with au jus, creamy horseradish and silver dollar rolls, a pasta station, a hot food station with steamed clams, braised short ribs and assorted pizzas fresh from Riva’s wood fired pizza oven, and a variety of delectable desserts. Wine and beer are included in the price of the ticket and a cash bar is available for other cocktails. Tickets are $50 and are available for purchase at the Tahoe Daily Tribune, 3079 Harrison Ave. Please call me at (530) 542-8026 if you have any questions.

Bachelors and bachelorettes are not the only items up for bid. There will also be a silent auction for everyone to participate in. Thanks to the generous support of local businesses, we have many attractive items up for bid. A pair of new skis, family pass to Kirkwood resort, pearl-and-amethyst necklace, Parks & Recreation “package of fun,” wine gift basket, fine art work, pet “package of fun,” golf package, month of personal training along with three free months at Sierra Athletic Club, full car detail, and a pamper package for women top the list of items.

Lake DJ, Derek Tarpey, has also donated his DJ services for the dinner music.

The main event is the Bachelor and Bachelorette auction. There are four men and four women who have graciously donated their time to participate. Each participant has designed a “date package” to complement themselves. They are responsible for the date. Some of the date packages consist of a champagne cruise for two on the Woodwind, dinner at Friday’s Station and a show at the Improv, an all-day ATV tour with Lake Tahoe Adventures and a private plane ride to Napa for lunch. The bachelors and bachelorettes have been very creative in designing their date packages.

The evening promises to be a fun event for all and we really need everyone’s support from the community.

Look for our ad running Friday in the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

– Sherry Smith is an advertising account executive at the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

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