Got cabin fever? A cure is on the way

The Dickinson community continues its decades long tradition of gathering support for families of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Cabin Fever Benefit
Volunteers gathered at the Dickinson Eagles Club to prepare for the Cabin Fever charity event to support the Ronald McDonald House in Bismarck.
Contributed / Kristina Steckler

Among the many joys of parenting is the unconditional love that is held for one's child. Having a child in and out of the hospital is one of the most stressful experiences that many parents face, especially after a scary medical diagnosis.

The struggles of exhaustion, confusion and fear that their child’s condition could get worse can be exasperated by the financial burdens that accompany lengthy medical visits to hospitals in far-away cities. It is in these times that many parents feel alone.

Enter the Ronald McDonald House in Bismarck, which is an independent nonprofit organization whose stated mission is to create, find and support families in crisis through a variety of programs — including offering lodging at their residence in Bismarck.

To support the philantropic work of the Ronald McDonald House, Dickinson will rally through camaraderie, gifts, money and even some midnight pancakes this Feb. 12, at the Dickinson Roughrider Commission, as they host their 31st annual Cabin Fever Benefit at the Eagles Club.

The Dickinson community has been supporting the Bismarck location since it opened in 1992.


According to a previous Press report, in recent years these donations have aided in replacing 13 tub and shower combinations, windows and the installation of key-less entry in each room, among many other improvements.

“We raise funds to help families from western North Dakota travel for their children’s medical needs. And we also help keep the Bismarck Ronald McDonald House up to date with maintenance,” one of the event’s organizers, Kristina Steckler said. “Any updates they need, we try to help fund them so all the families from our area have a good place to stay and they can continue serving others.”

Social hour begins at 4 p.m. A BBQ beef dinner will be served at 6 p.m. and the silent auction closes at 7 p.m. Raffle tickets will be sold on site for $10 each. Two cash prizes totaling $4,500, three rifles and a quarter of beef will be awarded among six lucky winners. Breakfast will be served at midnight with sausage, pancakes and scrambled eggs.

Last year the event raised over $100,000, which Steckler said was on par with their usual amount of revenue.

“The community still pulled through for us,” she said.

In 2021 organizers were apprehensive about how pandemic induced changes would affect fund raising.

“We were a little nervous last year because that was our first year on the online platform for our silent auction. But we had to do that because of COVID to make sure everyone could continue participating since many were uncomfortable coming in person,” Steckler said.

This year the silent auction will be held online again, she said, noting that participants at the event can place bids on their smartphones. More than 150 items will be sold in the silent auction, and 40 during the live auction.


EZ Street , a North Dakota based rock n roll band, will be performing live music. They’ve been rocking the Western Edge since 2006.

Tickets for the Cabin Fever Benefit can be purchased at the door or in advance at the Dickinson Eagles Club, which is located at 31 First Ave E. Anyone who buys a ticket will be entered to win one of four $100 bills to be awarded throughout the night, those drawn must be present to win.

Jason O’Day is a University of Iowa graduate, with Bachelor’s Degrees in Journalism and Political Science. Before moving to Dickinson in September of 2021, he was a general news reporter at the Creston News Advertiser in southwest Iowa. He was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa. With a passion for the outdoors and his Catholic faith, he’s loving life on the Western Edge. His reporting focuses on Stark County government and surrounding rural communities.
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