Taking a break from winter with.... Dickinson's Cabin Fever BenefitMiranda and Mitch Massey of Dickinson relied on Bismarck’s Ronald McDonald House when their twin daughters were born prematurely in November 2010. “It gave us a place to stay and we didn’t have to drive 100 miles to go home,” Miranda Massey said.
By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
Miranda and Mitch Massey of Dickinson relied on Bismarck’s Ronald McDonald House when their twin daughters were born prematurely in November 2010.
“It gave us a place to stay and we didn’t have to drive 100 miles to go home,” Miranda Massey said.
Staying at the house for some 50 days, Miranda added, “Ronald McDonald is awesome. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to stay while we were there, especially at Christmas time — people were constantly bringing us goodies and gift baskets.”
The Roughrider Commission is sponsoring its 21st annual Cabin Fever Benefit for the Bismarck Ronald McDonald House on Saturday.
The benefit starts at 4 p.m. with a social and silent auction at the Dickinson Eagles Club. The evening’s entertainment includes a beef barbecue at 6 p.m., with Satin Bullet providing the music for the dance.
This year’s Cabin Fever is dedicated to the memory of the late Kari Li Gress, who helped start the benefit, said committee member Maria King.
Maria and her husband, Al King, have been soliciting items for the auctions. They have received artwork, western collectibles, weekend trips, apparel and services.
Specialty items include an electric fireplace, generator, Kindle e-Reader, iPad, NDSU Bison autographed football and a child’s tricycle.
“Businesses are supportive more than ever when they find out it’s for the kids — it’s been real easy,” Al King said.
The commission accepts donations until auction time. They may be left at the Eagles Club or the King Family Eye Clinic.
The commission is featuring a raffle drawing of two grand prize “Trips for Two.” Winners have the choice of attending either the 2012 National Finals Rodeo, the 2012 Professional Bull Riders Finals or the 2013 NASCAR race, all in Las Vegas. Other items include cash prizes and beef packages.
A breakfast is served after the drawing for the raffle. Raffle tickets are available from any Roughrider Commission member, the Dickinson Convention and Visitors Bureau or at the door.
Steve Scherr has served on the Roughrider Commission board for 10 years, but he never expected to use the services of a Ronald McDonald House.
Steve and Lanet Scherr’s daughter, Jessica, was treated for Hodgkins lymphoma about four years ago. They stayed at a Ronald McDonald House in Rochester, Minn.
“It was so nice to get out of the hospital and have a place to go,” Scherr said.
“I was on the board before this ever happened — I felt it was such a good cause to help kids,” he added.
Doug Kostelecky has served on the committee since its inception.
“It’s just a great group to work with, plus it’s fun to see people come out and know we’re giving to a good cause,” Kostelecky said.
He expects the Eagles Club to be “busting at the seams” with people attending from southwestern North Dakota.
“I think what makes it work is the community itself — we go out and ask for donations,” Kostelecky said. “Year after year, they come through with great pieces of merchandise. Plus the fact, the general public opens their pocket books — they know it’s a good cause and where the money is going.”
The Roughrider Commission has raised more than $500,000 since its inception 20 years ago, he said.
“Some of the other places can’t figure out how we raise the money we do,” Maria King said. “We tell them keep it affordable, open to families and make it fun.”
Admission tickets are $5 in advance and $6 at the door.
While funding goes toward support of the Ronald McDonald House, the committee also helps families who make medical trips to Rochester, Minn., or Minneapolis. They may receive gas cards or reimbursements for lodging.
“This past year, it has really started taking off — we’ve had more requests than any other previous year,” Kostelecky said.
“The Cabin Fever Benefit is the very best friend that Ronald McDonald House could ever have in the 20 years the house has been open,” Ronald McDonald House Charities executive director Kathy Keiser said. “They started supporting us even before we opened.”
Funding from Cabin Fever supports ongoing operating expenses of the house, she said.
“It supports the families who stay at the house from the Dickinson area, and it also supports families, who may be staying at houses in the Twin Cities or Rochester,” she added.
To contact a Roughrider Commission member, send emails to rrc@roughride