November 12th, 2013
JANESVILLE – Nearly 300 people from all around southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois came out to RiversEdge Bowl in Janesville on Saturday to support local resident Robin Boyer’s battle with cancer.
“We have people who drove as much as two hours just to be here,” event coordinator April Braband said. “The turnout is even better than we expected.”
Braband and husband David put the event together to help their friend, Boyer’s daughter, Marsha Deitelhoff. “I barely mentioned the idea [of a benefit] to April, and she completely took off with it,” Deitelhoff said.
The event was separated into two two-hour blocks from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Benefit attendees paid $15 per person to bowl as many games as they could fit into their two hour time slot.
RiversEdge donated ten lanes and coordinated with the Brabands to split the ticket price. The Boyer family collected $7.50 per bowler. Bowlers accounted for over $1,000 of the total amount collected for the family.
“We love doing events like this,” RiversEdge manager Chris Jones said. “We love helping folks in our community, and we’re happy they had such an amazing turnout.”
More ways than one
Bowling wasn’t the only way Braband, Deitelhoff, and their group of volunteers (or “Cancer Crusaders” as their team shirts suggested) raised money.
The benefit also included:
- A 50/50 raffle: Volunteers sold tickets and drew a winner every hour. The biggest prize of the night gave one ticket holder $130.
- A basket raffle: Volunteers, businesses, and other friends of the family donated a variety of prize baskets that were raffled off to benefit attendees. Participants could buy tickets for baskets ranging from a tailgating basket (with blankets and snacks) to a dog care basket (with brushes, toys, and treats).
- A silent auction: Benefit attendees could bid on several different items including a new grill, paintings, and mini vacation packages. The highest bidder at the end of the night took home the prize.
The proceeds from the raffles and auction accounted for about $700 of the total amount raised. Additional donations came from benefit attendees that didn’t bowl as well as other patrons of the bowling alley that weren’t a part of the benefit.
“I was amazed that even random strangers were donating,” Deitelhoff said. “It goes to show that this issue affects everyone at some level.”
Boyer was diagnosed with bladder cancer in May 2012. After having surgery to remove her bladder along with the cancer in June 2012, Boyer’s family was hopeful that her battle with cancer was over.
“The doctors told us there was about a 40 to 50 percent chance the cancer could return,” Deitelhoff said. “Unfortunately, that’s what happened.”
Due to complications from the return of the cancer, Boyer has spent much of the past three months in the hospital. Despite this, Boyer says she is staying positive.
Boyer’s family is hosting another benefit on Nov. 23 in Baraboo, Wis. which is 25 minutes from Boyer’s hometown.