'Overwhelming' response to Ali Borgen silent auctionArtwork, motel packages, handmade jewelry, Fighting Sioux hockey tickets — more than 50 donated items will be auctioned off Sunday to benefit childhood cancer research at Ali Borgen’s “Celebration of a Lifetime.”
By: Chuck Haga, Grand Forks Herald
Artwork, motel packages, handmade jewelry, Fighting Sioux hockey tickets — more than 50 donated items will be auctioned off Sunday to benefit childhood cancer research at Ali Borgen’s “Celebration of a Lifetime.”
Among the items donated for the silent auction: Minnesota Viking Jim Kleinsasser’s autographed UND jersey, No. 82, from his days as a standout Sioux athlete in the late 1990s.
“The response has been overwhelming,” said Sarah Heitkamp, who has helped to organize the silent auction.
The party will be 1-3 p.m. Sunday at the Ramada Inn and Conference Center in Grand Forks.
Ali, 14, has fought leukemia for nearly four years. After the disease returned following a September bone marrow transplant, her family has arranged for hospice care at her home in Grand Forks. She returned to Grand Forks from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., earlier this week.
She told her family that she wanted a party, a chance to have fun and meet some of the people who have helped her through gifts, encouragement and prayer, and she said she wanted to take another swing at cancer by raising money to fight it.
“It’s Ali’s wish that no other child should go through what she has,” Heitkamp said.
In addition to the auction, a Children’s Cancer Research Fund has been established in Ali’s name. Donations may be made at http://tinyurl.com/2fslzkn and at Sunday’s event.
The research fund site includes a note from Ali’s mother, Karen Borgen:
Leukemia “may be overtaking Ali’s body, but it will never take her heart or spirit,” she wrote. “And, ultimately, how she lives her remaining time is up to her. She knows her body better than anyone; she is wiser than anyone I know.
“Ali said tonight that she ‘had so wanted to live happily ever after, but for some reason I won’t.’ Although this is sad and unfair, she chooses to live. To live fully, love completely — all the days she has left.”
Local artists David Badman, Kelly Thompson, Michelle Brusegaard, Adam Kemp and others have donated artwork for the auction, and Sen. Kent Conrad’s office sent a pewter tray. Other donations include a personalized hockey stick from UND’s Zach Parise and Matt Greene, four tickets for next Friday’s UND-Minnesota hockey game, a handmade quilt, gift cards and a pool package.
Because Ali is especially susceptible to infection now, people who have colds, flu or other respiratory ailments, or who have been exposed recently, should not attend, organizers said, but could make donations through the research fund site.
Reach Haga at (701) 780-1102; (800) 477-6572, ext. 102; or send e-mail to email@example.com.