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Sorority Raises Funds for Leukemia

By Christine Duellman
UW-RF News Bureau

MAY 6, 2005--The University of Wisconsin-River Falls sorority, Sigma Sigma Sigma, helped raise about $35,000 for "Catch a Cure," a benefit for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The events, sponsored by Gander Mountain, took place on April 22 and 23 at Lord Fletcher's, a lodge on Lake Minnetonka near Minneapolis.

The two-day event began on Friday evening with a silent auction, dinner, and live music. Hockey Olympian Karyn Bye, a River Falls native, hosted the event. The sorority greeted the guests of the event and helped conduct the silent auction.

"This was the second year I've worked with the other Sigma women at the event and it's a lot of fun," said Cassandra Tousey, a senior at UW-RF. "You get to meet children that survived leukemia and see first hand where the money is going."

Tony Oliva, baseball hall of fame inductee and former player and coach of the Minnesota Twins, also attended the event and had his picture taken with the sorority.

Saturday afternoon was the 38th annual crappie fishing contest on Lake Minnetonka. Jim Helminiak, the official judge and professor emeritus at UW-RF, said the Tri Sigma women were very helpful at this event.

"They really represented themselves and the University in a positive way," said Helminiak. "I hope they continue to participate in this event every year."

The sorority received praise for its hard work from Ron Schara, host of KARE 11's television magazine show "Minnesota Bound." Schara participated in both weekend events and was impressed by the sorority's dedication.

"I'm always impressed with students who have the maturity to invest their time in worthy causes and do it with such gusto," said Schara. "There are a lot of good causes and this certainly is one of them. What's unique is those of use who appreciate the outdoors understand the joy of living and for me nothing hardly beets a day on the water. So you gain an appreciation for this type of lifestyle and for people less fortunate and that is a good combination."

Tousey said that even though she will have graduated before next year's benefit, she hopes to stay involved with "Catch a Cure" in the years to come.

"Even though we had cold weather on the day of the event, there were a lot of people who worked and participated in the event because it's such a wonderful charity," she said.

Several River Falls community members donated items to help raise money for the event. Jim's wife, Nancy, donated a hand made quilt that raised nearly $300. She is a member of quilting club that is already working on a quilt for next year's benefit. Their daughter, Bridget, donated an original abstract art piece that sold for $175.

For more information about the "Catch a Cure" benefit or to donate items to next year's silent auction, email Helminiak at

The following UW-RF Tri Sigma women participated in the benefit listed by name, hometown and major:

Stephanie Brown, River Falls, accounting
Katlyn Kaiser, River Falls, marketing communications
Ashley LeClair, River Falls, computer science and information systems
Cassandra Tousey, Gillett, animal science

Lindsay Hutton, Blaine, Minn., broad field social studies
Katie Monsour, St. Paul, Minn., marketing communications
Kirsten Newman, Oakdale, Minn., marketing communications
Lindsay Samelian, Mendota Heights, Minn., pre-professional
Katrina Shane, Blaine, Minn., pre-professional


Last updated: Tuesday, 22-Jun-2010 16:21:23 Central Daylight Time

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