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Nordick gives back to his community Tenacity ... BY KATHLEEN LEINEN • DAILY NEWS

Darral Nordick lives by a personal code of hard work and commitment to his community. The Breckenridge resident was chosen as the Daily News Citizen of the Year because of his motivation to help others and his community. Nordick and his wife, Laureen, live in rural Breckenridge, Minn. They have two children, their daughter, Alyshia Leisure and her husband, Matt, Eudora, Kan., and Derek, San Diego, both are graduates of Breckenridge High School. Derek Nordick recently graduated from basic training in the U.S. Marine Corps and is currently undergoing MCT training. His goal is to become a combat engineer. Darral Nordick is as committed to his family as he is to his community. “Darral is very passionate about doing and giving back to the community,” said Wilkin County Commissioner Stephanie Miranowski. “He really cares about keeping the community alive and having family events here. “He wants to include everyone and he works hard on getting the community involved in the fair project,” she said. “Darral is a hard worker and a determined indi-

‘Darral is very passionate about doing and giving back to the community. He really cares about keeping the community alive and having family events here.’ Stephanie Miranowski

Wilkin County Commissioner

Citizen of the Year

Darral Nordick vidual. Hopefully, people will appreciate his efforts. He is the type of person to get things moving. Sometimes I think he tries to do too much by himself, but I admire his efforts to keep the community vital here in Breckenridge.” The Nordick family is active in many organizations and groups. He is a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Breckenridge. Nordick served four years on the Rothsay School Board and has been involved with 4-H. Nordick is a member of both the Red River Riding Club and the Wilkin County Sheriff posse. He is a member of the Minnesota Soybean Association and was active in the Pork Produc-

ers on both the local and state levels. He served as state director and president for the West Central Pork Producers. He also served on the environmental, legislative, promotional and awards committees and was a delegate to the National Pork Board. He served as vice president and president of the Wilkin County Fair Board and helped with planning and purchasing the land to move the Wilkin County Fair location southeast of town. Milan Drewlow has been on the Wilkin County Fair Board since its inception in the 1980s. He has worked with Nordick for the last 5-6 years on


Darral Nordick, far right, was chosen as the Daily News Citizen of the Year. He is shown with his family – wife Laureen, son Derek and daughter Alyshia Leisure. Missing from the picture is his son-in-law, Matt Leisure. the fair board, and is impressed with the amount of work Nordick is willing to do to make the fair run successfully. “He’ll even step in and pick up garbage if he is needed,” Drewlow said. Nordick takes on responsibility and isn’t ask-

ing for any accolades by doing it. “Whatever needs to be done, Darral is willing to do,” Drewlow said. Nordick and Laureen represented Wilkin County as the 2009 Outstanding Agriculturists at the North Dakota State

University Harvest Bowl and they received the Wilkin County 2010 Valley Farmer and Homemaker Award. He was also the recipient of the 2013 Mark Were Community Service Award by the Chamber of Commerce.

Althoff wants to help his community Conviction ... BY KAREN SPEIDEL • DAILY NEWS

Arnie Althoff of Hankinson, N.D., has been instrumental in helping create an American Legion Memorial and Natural Resource Center along the shores of Lake Elsie in rural Hankinson, and has served on many area boards and community service organizations. This Hankinson resident was chosen as the News-Monitor Citizen of the Year because of his commitments to country, community, family and faith. Althoff has served in the U.S. Armed Forces, numerous community boards and continues to be an avid volunteer. He and his wife, Charlene, live along Lake Elsie. They have three grown daughters, Kari Foertsch, who lives in Mooreton with her husband, Nick; Beth Mauch, who lives in Kindred with her husband, Ben; and Crystal Althoff, who lives in Englewood, Colo. Charlene Althoff has stood beside her husband of 36 years through his continued volunteerism and through his service on various boards. She said it has always been important to Arnie that he be of service. “He is just so good at

‘He is just so good at everything. I think it’s wonderful he can share that with other people and organizations. He has a gift. He was made to serve others.’ Charlene Althoff

Wife of 36 years to The News-Montitor’s Citizen of the Year

Citizen of the Year

Arnie Althoff everything. I just think it’s wonderful he can share that with other people and organizations. He has a gift. He was made to serve others,” she said. Dave Paulson, a member of the Hankinson Community Development Corporation, nominated Althoff for the Citizen of the Year. Paulson said Althoff’s commitments started in 1960 when he dedicated four years to serving in the U.S. Air Force. Althoff was schooled on B-52s, B47s and C-130s, which he flew in the Vietnam buildup as a crew chief. After being discharged from the military, Althoff earned his

F.F.A. license as a power plant operator and worked as a flight mechanic for Western Airlines until 1972, when he returned to North Dakota to become a partner on the family farm, Paulson said. Althoff retired about eight years ago, and had worked for years on the family farm. Althoff began a long and continued history of serving on many agricultural boards. He served on what is now the Wheaton-Dumont Elevator Board, Midland Coop Board and Minn-Dak Farmers Co-op Board. His interests grew beyond agricultural boards. Althoff also served on the St. Phil-

ip’s Catholic Church Council, Hankinson Community Clinic, Hankinson Community Development Corporation, Brightwood Township officer and is also a lifetime member of the V.F.W. and Eberhard American Legion Post. He volunteered many hours to help others by delivering groceries to needy families, driving

the veterans van for his fellow servicemen and today is active in Right to Life functions. In 2005, Althoff helped create the American Legion Memorial and Natural Resource Center along Lake Elsie. “This has become a wonderful community asset and there is hardly a day when Arnie is not seen continuing to

improve the gardens, trees, shrubs, natural grass, walk path, sitting areas and learning center,” Paulson said. “For anyone who has not spent time at this area, they have really missed a local asset that Arnie has had a major footprint on and has gone the extra mile to ensure future generations to enjoy.”



Make a difference in the life of a child Compassion ... The real backbone of the Kinship organization is its selfless volunteers BY MATTHEW LIEDKE • DAILY NEWS

Mentors can make a tremendous impact on a child’s life. At the Richland Wilkin Kinship, mentors volunteer their own time to share what they love with area youth. Directed by Rebekah Christensen and Jeff Bass, Kinship averages about 40 volunteer men-

‘We don’t have a program without the volunteers. We talk about it all day, we can do the office things, but the volunteers make our program, that’s really what it’s all about.’ Rebekah Christensen Kinship director

tors per year, who get matched with youth in the two counties. Christensen said the number of volunteers wasn’t always in the double digits, though, as the program had rather humble beginnings. The Kinship program was originally brought to the area in the early 1980s. Christensen said

a service group learned about Kinship, a national program originating in the Midwest, in the Twin Cities. It was decided by the group that the Twin Towns needed a local Kinship chapter and one was later established to serve both Richland and Wilkin counties. For about 20 years, Kinship was run by volunteers under the umbrella of the Wahpeton Parks and Recreation Department. In its earlier years, Christensen said there were about six or seven mentors being matched each year. In 2000, the Wilkin County Collaborative and United Way got behind Kinship with additional support and the organization was able to hire a director. From there, Kinship expanded, becoming its own 501c3 and added more matches with local youths to bring the mentor count to about 12. Christensen took over Kinship in 2006 and as there still was no office at the time, ran the organization from her home. After working to establish the local Amazing Race fundraiser event and getting more grants, Christensen was eventually able to establish an office to operate the program out of. Since then, both Christensen and Jeff Bass have worked


Jerrica Stack and Alyssa Stuehrenberg watch a FM Red Hawks Game as part of a Kinship mentoring excursion. Program coordinators say the backbone of Kinship is the volunteers. Jeff Bass said without volunteers, they wouldn’t have a program. to build Kinship to the point where it is now. Despite all of the effort they have given to the program, though, Bass said the real backbone of the program has been its volunteer mentors. “We don’t have a program without the volunteers,” Bass said. “We can talk about it all day.

We can do the office things, but the volunteers make our program, that’s really what it’s all about.” In terms of getting more volunteers involved, the biggest road block usually comes down to time. “Everyone in this day and age is busy, and that’s one of the biggest

hurdles that we have in recruiting mentors,” Bass said. “People ask, ‘How do I find time for this?’ But what we find is, if we can make a good match, the mentor can include the child in what they’re doing.” “What we usually hear is that the mentor gains as much as they are giv-

ing,” Christensen said. “It’s doing the things you already like doing and bringing someone along and sharing that with someone. If you like going to ball games, we try to encourage bringing the child with.” Those who do spend SEE KINSHIP, PAGE B8

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Relay organizers welcome more help Driven ...

Volunteer-driven event raises money for the American Cancer Society Each year in the Twin Towns, dozens of volunteers work hard to put on the Relay for Life, a family-friendly fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Whether it’s volunteering for a committee or volunteering to work a few hours at the event itself, organizers of the event welcome more help at any time. “Relay for Life is a vol-

‘It’s so fun working toward it,” she said. “I get excited when I see others getting excited about it. It’s true to my heart, being a cancer survivor. I look forward to it, I get chills that day.’ Holly Voss

Team development chair

unteer-driven event, and each community’s Relay needs to find people,” said Nancy Grotluschen, on the American Cancer Society’s regional council. “We do a 12-hour event, and once you go, you get hooked,” she said. The American Cancer Society provides a specialist who is the only

paid personnel the event employs, and that person’s job is to help guide the committees in planning and executing their event. Many volunteers have worked the event since it began in the area, about 10 years ago. “Once you lose someone to cancer, you feel you just need to do more,” Grotluschen said. “And when you go to Relay once, you get hooked.” She said she learned the volunteer spirit from her father and she loves giving back to the community. “I feel better when I do it. It makes you feel good, and we have a great committee,” she said. “It’s like my second family. My blood is purple because I do so much.” Relay for Life teams can consist of up to 15 people, and so far this year, there are 19 teams signed up comprised of 107 participants. Each team comes up with their own fundraising ideas and works for months to raise money and solicit donations. The event brings the community together for fun, activities and fundraising, and a celebration of survivorship. The day starts with a Survivors Lap in which cancer survivors make a victory lap around the track. It gives people a reason to celebrate the victories they’ve made over cancer. “The number of people you see walking that

Luminary bags are lit with candles as a solemn tribute to those who have passed away from cancer and to survivors. These luminaries are a fundraiser for the Relay for Life event held each year in Wahpeton.


Jim and Nancy Grotluschen, committee members for Relay for Life, have their relay glasses on. Many of the volunteers for the Relay for Life event have been with the organization for more than 10 years. Although this group is dedicated, organizers say they can always use more help. opening lap, it’s incredible. People you had no idea had cancer,” said Holly Voss, team development chair. Caregivers are also recognized at Relay for Life — people who give their time, love and support to friends, family, neighbors and coworkers who are facing cancer. Voss said the event is a great day full of laughing and crying. “It’s so fun working toward it,” she said. “I get excited when I see others getting excited about it. It’s true to my heart, being a cancer survivor. I look forward to it, I get chills that day.” She said another emotional moment is during the lighting of the luminarias, which are electric or traditional candles lit inside paper bags, each bearing the name of someone who was touched by or lost their life to cancer. The lanterns line the track and the lights are turned down so attendees can watch them glow. A message is also spelled out in the lanterns on the wall. It’s during this time that people can remember, grieve and find healing. It highlights the importance of conquering the disease. “It makes me teary every year, to think that that many people have been lost or are having to struggle,” Voss said. One memory that always sticks with her is

when a teenager who was volunteering for the first time, came up to her with tears in her eyes and told Voss, “I didn’t know how it would affect me.” “We’re helping people celebrate more birthdays,” Voss said. During the 12-hour event, there will be a children’s carnival with teamsponsored games, entertainment including music

and the Mr. Relay pageant, and team “campsites” will be selling food and crafts and other items to raise money. Teams also puts together themed baskets for a basket raffle and chances to win them are sold during the event, with winners drawn that evening. The evening will wind down with the luminarias and a guest speaker, usually a caregiver or sur-

vivor, who shares their personal journey with cancer. Every year, the event has a theme and this year it’s Seasons of Hope. Teams are asked to come up with their season theme, which could revolve around a holiday or season of SEE RELAY FOR LIFE, PAGE B8

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Group has helped combat severe illness Advocacy ...

Cares for Cancer grew out of a Relay for Life committee held years before BY KAREN SPEIDEL • DAILY NEWS

The number of new cancer cases is growing across the United States with 1.6 million new cases last year. It was estimated in 2013 that North Dakota had about 3,510 new cancer cases and Minnesota an estimated 28,410 new cases, according to information from the American Cancer Society. There are many factors that contribute to this growth in new cancer

‘There really wasn’t anything out there for people like this. Your savings account is pretty much trashed after (a cancer) diagnosis. I have been a witness to this with my dad.’ Jamie Krump

Co-chair for Cares for Cancer rates, including an increase in obesity, tobacco use, lack of physical activity, genetics and sun exposure. Knowing the number of rates continues to increase, the Hankinson Cares for Cancer group has to do a lot of work. Cares for Cancer is gear-

ing up for its eighthannual benefit to be held from 4:30-8 p.m. on March 29 at the Hankinson Community Center. The benefit is the group’s largest fundraiser, said co-chair Jaime Krump. She and Tara Steffens have chaired the event for eight years, kind of a group that started “from scratch” since Hankinson did not have this type of cancer crusade prior to Cares for Cancer. The city had participated in the Relay for Life event to benefit the American Cancer Society, but not this type of organization geared to provide funds for local cancer victims. There are 27 area people involved in the Cares for Cancer group. Krump’s involvement grew out of the need to make a difference. She has witnessed the effect cancer has on family and friends. She said in the last year, four people in Hankinson alone developed cancer. “It feels like our community just seems to be affected by it so badly, one of the main reasons we’re doing this,” Krump said. And then her dad, Ken Krump, also developed cancer, so the cause is that much dearer to her heart Cares for Cancer keeps the money local. People with any major illness within a 40-mile radius of Hankinson can apply for financial assistance. Each applicant receives


From left, Cares for Cancer co-chairs Jaime Krump and Tara Steffens, with committee member Terry Goerger pull names during the event’s general raffle. Big ticket items this year include a large grill and TV. $250, meant to help pay for gas, motel rooms and other incidentals associated with the large expense of their medical treatments. “When my Dad was diagnosed with cancer, he was in Mayo a lot. Trust me, $150 a night for a motel room and your money doesn’t go too far,” Krump said. “There really wasn’t anything out there for people like this. Your savings account is pretty much trashed after (a cancer) diagnosis. I have been a witness to this with my dad.” Applicants can reapply

for funds every 90 days. Since its inception, Cares for Cancer has donated $19,750 to individuals as of Jan. 31. These figures do not include funds donated to area benefits for people battling a major illness. This year’s Cares for Cancer event features a $15 steak or chicken dinner with baked potato, vegetable, salads and bars. There is a gun auction, cash and meat raffles, silent auction and live auction. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Riveredge Hospice of Wah-

peton-Breckenridge. Big ticket general raffle items include a large grill and TV. Live auction items include guns, two half hogs, a restored old door for craft projects, and a few scenic prints by artist James Meger, Krump said. Area businesses have been supportive of the annual event and have donated both items and money. The Minnesota Twins donate items, and a signed football from the championship North Dakota State University Bison football team will be up for sale on the live auction.

Cares for Cancer grew out of the Relay for Life committee held about 10 years ago. More than eight years ago Krump and Steffens were asked to co-chair Relay for Life, and the following year take the event over. Instead of doing that, the committee decided to take a different road and developed Cares for Cancer instead. This annual benefit has grown from several hundred benefit goers to serving more than 400 SEE CARES FOR CANCER, PAGE B7

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Watch DOGS keep an eye on education Father ...

Dads volunteer a day at Wahpeton Elementary schools BY MATTHEW LIEDKE • DAILY NEWS

Fathers of students at Wahpeton Zimmerman and Central schools are becoming recurring visitors to classrooms thanks to a new program that allows dads to participate in their child’s daily routine. The Watch DOGS (Dads of Great Students) program was initiated in the fall of 2013 and since

‘One of the reasons that this program is really valuable is it really increases the male role models we have in our schools.’ Julie Carlson

Zimmerman Elementary School counselor its inception in Wahpeton, the schools have had more than 70 visits from volunteering fathers. The program, which runs at a national level, brings in a father who is volunteering for one day during school hours. The dad will announce themselves over the loudspeaker and then visit classrooms and interact with students in different activities. Julie Carlson, Zimmerman Elementary School

counselor, said she first discovered the program at a large conference in North Dakota and decided to bring it back to the Wahpeton School District. To start the program at the school, Carlson held a launch event where more than 200 dads attended for more information. Since then, 40 Watch DOGS have volunteered for a day and were surveyed on their experience. Carlson said that 100 percent of those surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that it was a rewarding experience. According to those who have volunteered, the experience allowed them to visit with students all across the school. “It was good. It wasn’t just one class,” said Watch Dog Todd Good. “I’d spend 15 minutes at one class and then 30 minutes at another.” “It’s great, just to come and hang out with the kids. You really get to see what goes on at the school,” said Dustin Wiebusch. The goals for the program, according to Carlson, is to provide good role models for students and to provide an extra pair of eyes at the school. “One of the reasons that this program is really valuable is it really increases the male role models we have in our schools,” Carlson said.



Watch DOG Dustin Wiebusch spends time with his daughter, Emma Wiebusch, at Zimmerman Elementary. The program asks dads to take a day off from work and spend time in the elementary classrooms. Counselor Julie Carlson said the program helps build students’ self esteem. “It really is great for the student’s self esteem. It sends the message that their education is important. Whenever dad takes a day off of work to spend a day at their school, it shows that the academics are important.” Carlson added that the day allows the fathers to relate better to how their child learns on a daily basis. “I’ve had some of the dads talk to me about not knowing just how much technology is used in the classroom,” Carlson said.


“Teachers also get excited for it,” Zimmerman Principal Rosemary Hardie said. “When there’s extra help in the classrooms, sometimes if they are doing a project they will ask for a watch DOG in the classroom.” Making the connection between the schools and the parents of the community is the priority of the program for Hardie who said the school district really wants to promote parent involvement and increase the school’s connections with parents.

“It helps parents better understand the programs we have at our schools,” Hardie added. “We definitely take the input of parents seriously and this helps to form a good collaboration.” “The students get a message from the parent involvement,” Carlson said. “Where you spend your time sends a message of what’s important. So having a dad take time off to spend at his child’s school, it sends a message that the education is a priority.” “Parental connections

are going to improve academic achievements and social and economical development for a child,” Hardie said. “Anytime you make a connection and have more collective people with an initiative, it improves things.” “You always want what’s best for your children. You want them to strive for the best,” Wiebusch said. “For them to be excited about what they are doing, you have to show that you’re SEE WATCH DOGS, PAGE B7

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Volunteers are crucial to hospice care Families who works with volunteers find it to be a rewarding experience

‘When a person is under hospice care they have a health condition that is not going to get better. Our focus of care becomes comfort, quality days for however long they have left.’ Joy Wohlrabe

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presence during this final crossing. Joy Wohlrabe, is a social worker with Riveredge Hospice and the bereavement and volunteer coordinator. She said volunteers are an integral part of the program and without their efforts, Riveredge would not have all of the offerings currently available.


Joy Wohlrabe is a social worker with Riveredge Hospice and the bereavement and volunteer coordinator. She said the many programs offered through hospice are helped through volunteers. At least half of the hospice clients have a volunteer involved in their care. They offer both family and client emotional support and many of these dedicated workers continue a relationship with the families after death has occurred. This bereavement care is part of the programming offered by Riveredge Hospice and continues for 13 months after the death of a client. Johnson is one of the dedicated volunteers who continue with some families well after the 13 months have gone by. “Compassion doesn’t

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ing to get better. Our focus of care becomes comfort, quality days for however long they have left.” More qualities needed for hospice volunteers are dependability and a good value system, Wohlrabe said. Background checks are taken of each volunteer as a checks and balance measure to ensure there is no history of criminal activity. Not every client and family wants a volunteer as part of their final journey, though, but for those who do, the volunteer becomes like one of the family.


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Riveredge Hospice of St. Francis allows clients to die with dignity by preserving quality of life, symptom control, patient and family support and education. Volunteers are a crucial aspect to this end-of-life care, offering bereavement support, respite care and a non-anxious

“Families who have a volunteer involved with their care find it to be a positive experience,” Wohlrabe said. “We primarily see volunteers as a companion and hopefully our client looks forward to having that person come, especially in a nursing home setting. It gives that person something to look forward to.” Cathy Johnson is one of the 23 active volunteers with Riveredge Hospice. She has experienced an entire gamut of different needs through her work. She has played cards, watched “Bonanza” while a caregiver ran errands, prayed with clients, massaged their hands with lotion, gone through pictures and visited with them. “My parents were taken from me suddenly. I didn’t get to sit with them when they went,” Johnson said. “At that time I made the commitment and said, ‘Someday I’m going to volunteer and help other families.’” Both Wohlrabe and Johnson acknowledge that dealing with end-oflife care isn’t for everyone, but there are other needs Riveredge has for volunteers, including office work, helping with the Tree of Lights and more. But through it all, the joy each volunteer receives as part of the care in that final journey brings them back for more.




Solicitude ...

“I love people. I’ve always thought, ‘God has given me each day, so what can I give back to help mankind,’” Johnson said. “I’m so grateful to each day that he gives me. Any way I can help, I will. I love my volunteer work. I don’t know who gets more, myself, the family or client.” Through her five years as a hospice volunteer, Johnson has learned to value time. The general expectation for a hospice volunteer is between 2-4 visits a month, which can be a weekly visit or every other week, Wohlrabe said. The time frame depends on what each volunteer is able to give and what the family wants. As part of her task as coordinator, Wohlrabe matches clients with volunteers and one of the volunteers who learned the importance of this is Jane Krump. Her first assignment was in January 2013. Her relationship with Riveredge Hospice began two years earlier though, when her mother, Edith Kufus, was sick in the fall of 2011. Krump said she was impressed with every aspect of hospice. “I wanted to help other families have the same experience and to say thanks to hospice,” Krump said. Integrating into the family journey isn’t always easy. Krump was matched with a patient and spouse who didn’t completely understand at first the value of working with a volunteer. They didn’t ask for much, but the spouse did ask that a volunteer weed a small area by her patio. Krump was matched with the couple because she loves

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James Cook, DC.................642-1913 David Cook, DC.................642-1913 Michael Jacklitch, DC........642-5600 Alisa Mitskog, DC.............642-6480 Robb Dohman, DC............642-6480



WATCH DOGS: The schools are flexible for the dads who want to become Watch DOGS CARES FOR CANCER: Because of groups like this, more Americans are surviving illness


excited, too.” Hardie said the program is such a success, that she and district staff are working to get moms involved in the future. “I see the program growing and we will take words of input,” Hardie said. “That’s why we survey every volunteer after the day is over. By looking at the numbers right now, it sends a message that these dads are looking for an opportunity to be part of their children’s lives.” “We will definitely continue this,” Carlson said. “Once the program gets going, we will form a ‘Top Dog’ group, which will be made up of volunteers and will help promote the program in the community.” The support so far for the program has been a pleasant surprise to Hardie, who said “we are so pleased with the involvement from the communi-



Logan Hoggarth’s grandpa, Steve Hoggarth, helps out during snack time at Zimmerman Elementary as part of the Watch DOGS program. ty, it just makes us strive to provide service at a higher level. “The employers should also be recognized,” Good said. “For allowing workers to take time off to volunteer, it shows they support us dads tak-

ing time to be part of our children’s lives.” The Watch DOGS program usually has volunteer fathers come to the school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but Hardie explained that the schools are flexible.

For those interested in becoming a Watch DOGS, fathers can contact Wahpeton Zimmerman Elementary School at 701-642-3050 or Wahpeton Central Elementary School at 701-6428328.

HOSPICE VOLUNTEERS: Help clients affirm their lives, offering companionship and caring CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6

working with landscaping and flowers. She spent five hours on the project and pulled every weed in the landscaping around the entire house. “The hospice patient changed in front of me,” she said. “I wasn’t in the way anymore. He was overwhelmed and thanked me for doing that for his wife.” Although busy in her own life, Krump is a professor at North Dakota State College of Science and department chair of social and behavioral sciences. She spends about

six hours a month working with hospice. NDSCS officials ask their staff to go out and be part of the community. Krump said she visits her clients on Friday afternoons about 4 p.m. so it doesn’t interfere with her work at the college. Riveredge Hospice began offering end-of-life care in this area in 1979, Wohlrabe said. Hospice provides primary nursing care with a qualified registered nurse. It focuses on life. Once the decision is made by the client and their loved ones to start palliative treatment for end-stage advanced illness, the focus is on pa-

tient-guided holistic comfort care, according to one of their brochures. If hospice volunteers do one thing successfully it is affirming each client’s life. The gift they give in their visits is to attest what each person has done with their life, Wohlrabe said. “All of the families I have worked with expressed nothing but thankfulness and gratitude for being a part of their loves ones end-of-life journey,” Johnson said. “So many families regret how they handle things at the end of life,” Krump said. “We can help families say their

good-byes and help them feel like they’ve had the conversations that are important and don’t have regrets and what ifs. We celebrate the beginning of life and prepare for it. It seems like hospice is a way of celebrating and preparing for the end of life and there should be just as much joy and satisfaction.” To learn more about becoming a hospice volunteer, contact Wohlrabe at 218-643-2275. Many of the volunteers are giving back after a personal experience with hospice. Although they give selflessly of their time, they gain so much back as well.

last year. “We never thought it would get this big. When we first started it, everybody said they liked the Relay,” Krump said. But Wahpeton-Breckenridge has a Relay for Life event about 30 miles away, and other communities in this region also run the event, so the committee decided to go their own way and begin a group that provided financial assistance to those dealing with major illnesses in this area. Plus, a portion of the funds are still donated to the American Cancer Society. Cares for Cancer participates in other fundraising events throughout the year, but not on the scale of its annual benefit. For instance, the Hankinson High School girls volleyball team wore pink one night to support breast cancer awareness, so Cares for Cancer served pink ice cream that night. One of the evening’s highlights during the benefit includes possibly shaving the head of Whitney Link. She was getting ready for her wedding, and raising funds for Cares of Cancer all at the same time. Link’s goal is to raise $10,000 before March 29. Those donating on her behalf can check whether they want her to shave her head, or not. She won’t know until the night of the benefit whether she leaves bald. Either way, Link is emotionally prepared in case the majority of people want her to shave her head. “It’s hair, it will grow back,” she said. Link has been a member of Cares for Cancer for about five years. She joined the team after losing her grandmother to

brain cancer. “I thought maybe I owed her,” Link said. Each year, someone from the committee volunteers to shave their head. She had thought about volunteering in past years, but didn’t last year because she was engaged and wanted long hair for her wedding. She was married Feb. 15 so that date has passed and she’s ready to shave her head for a good cause. She said if she hadn’t stepped up this year, she may never have volunteered. Benefit goers will learn Link’s fate after the live auction, about 9 p.m. that night. Because of groups like Cares for Cancer, more Americans are surviving cancer. The American Cancer Society said two in every three people diagnosed with cancer today survive at least five years. An estimated 13.7 million Americans with a history of cancer were alive on Jan. 1, 2012. The American Cancer Society estimates that by Jan. 1, 2022, the population of cancer survivors will increase to almost 18 million with 8.8 million males and 9.2 million females. The three most common cancers among male survivors are prostate (43 percent), colon and rectum (9 percent), and melanoma (7 percent). Among female survivors, the most common cancers are breast (41 percent), uterine corpus (8 percent), and colon and rectum (8 percent). The majority of cancer survivors (64 percent) were diagnosed five or more years ago, and 15 percent were diagnosed 20 or more years ago. Almost half (45 percent) of cancer survivors are 70 years of age or older, while only 5 percent are younger than 40 years.




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RELAY FOR LIFE: Volunteers are treasured KINSHIP: People who volunteer find their time to be well spent and fulfilling and priceless to this worthy organization CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2


the year, or a seasoning, such as sugar or spice. Pam Knapper, event chairperson, said the committees need lots of ideas and opinions each year to plan the fundraiser, and anyone is invited to attend the monthly committee meetings. Her strong involvement with the American Cancer Society event is driven by the money the organization spends on cancer research, she said. “They have been the leaders in research for many, many years, and I think that’s really important for the cancer fight. I think the money needs to go to research,” she said. Knapper shared some statistics. “In 2012, they gave $148 million to cancer research,” she said. “They have a 24-hour, seven-daya-week patient support line where people can call at any time of the day or night with issues, and have someone to talk to. It’s been a huge resource for many people.” The American Cancer Society has also provided more than $250,000 worth of free nights at a Hope Lodge, she said. “They’re free to cancer patients going through treatments. You can stay a set amount of days, and that’s picked up by the American Cancer Society.” The organization also provides free wigs and prosthesis to cancer patients, and has a Look Good Feel Good program, which teams up with area hairstylists to give makeovers to cancer patients. New this year, the local Relay for Life group is promoting a Twin Town Tatas fundraiser, where each team will decorate

a bra which will be displayed throughout the community. People can then bid on them for purchase and the money raised goes back to those teams. Knapper said a nice thing the group does a few days before each Relay is hold a survivor’s dinner. “We invite all of the survivors that we are aware of who have been diagnosed with any type of cancer, and we put on a meal which will be at the Eagles. We cook the meal and have what we call local celebrities in the area, who will be waiters and waitresses,” she said. “Guests are allowed to bring a caregiver and it’s a night to just celebrate them.” Knapper said the Relay event raised “record numbers” last year and they expect to do well again this year. “We have a great committee, and they all have a reason for being there,” she said. Knapper shared a line she’d read somewhere about volunteers, which she thought sums up their value to an event like Relay for Life. “Volunteers aren’t paid — It’s not because they’re worthless, it’s because they’re priceless.” To sign up a team or join in as a volunteer for this year’s Relay for Life, which will be held from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, May 10 at the Blikre Activities Center on the North Dakota State College of Science campus, contact Holly Voss at 218643-1532; Pam Knapper at 701-642-8820 ext. 6901; or Amanda Langseth at 6408872. There is also a “Relay for Life of Wahpeton, ND/ Breckenridge MN” Facebook page that can be “liked” to get more information.

their time mentoring with Kinship are people who volunteer in other community organizations as well. It’s an aspect the co-directors at the program embrace when matching these volunteers with one of their youths. “Many times, the people who volunteer with us also volunteer in many capacities. It’s because people really find that volunteering is very fulfilling, it takes you outside of your own life and gives you a compassion for the world and makes you a more content person,” Christensen said. “There are studies that have shown that people are happiest when they help other people,” Bass added. “We very much encourage our mentors to take the youth with them to volunteer, because it is a great thing to teach the kids,” Christensen said. “It shows that it doesn’t matter how much money you have or how old you are, you always have something to give.” Despite already having 40 volunteer mentors matched with children in the community, the co-directors at Kinship believe expansion is still possible. “We’ve been the Richland Wilkin Kinship, but it’s difficult to have a presence in all of the communities,” Bass said. “We were fortunately awarded a grant this year that will allow for a rural outreach in the two counties. It will allow us to spend days and establish Kinship in rural communities and expand our reach. It will also help recruit new mentors and serve the kids there.” Additionally, the grant will allow Kinship to

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with your equipment management & needs Stop by or give us a call. We’re here for you. You can also see us at this years International Sugarbeet Institiue. March 12 & 13 at the Grand Forks Alerus

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Call Tony or Tim to discuss your equipment needs.

701-642-1181 606 Miller St., Dwight, ND



Kinship mentors and youth had a recent sledding party that was filled with games, companionship and fun. Above: Dave Sayler and Ed Roemmich play air hockey. Below: Mentor Luke Francois and Austin Hoylman at the Kinship sledding and skating party in January start a life skills program that will target participation from some of the older youth the organization involves. Bass explained that it will give the community a chance to share its expertise. “It’s something we will be working on over the next couple of months. We don’t have a particular date yet, but we want them to vary. Some examples would be personal finance, nutrition, basic auto care and job interviewing,” Bass said. In regards to what else Kinship is looking at in the horizon, Bass explained the most important thing to do will be to expand the program and stay true to its mission. “I don’t know if we will do anything groundbreaking, but I want to see us enhance what we

do,” Bass said. “With more financial support, more staffing, we can do more mentor and support training. It’s about doing more of what we are doing.” “Our goal will never change,” Christensen

added. “The need is always going to be there, and we will want to continue to provide a quality, safe program.” To get involved with Richland Wilkin Kinship, call 701-672-0303 or email

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