We Believe Spring Benefit:  Honoring Katie and Rayce

A Very Big Thank You

So many people helped to make our spring benefit such a success; our amazing committee, the corporate sponsors, and those who donated to our silent auction. Paul Bartlett (pjbart.com) who donated his graphic artist expertise, Corey Sielaff who created the beautiful video tribute and the amazing staff at the Alliant Energy Center (especially Connie).   And, to all of you who either donated and/or battled the April snowstorm to attend and celebrate with us.  You have our sincere and heartfelt thanks.

A Recap of the Evening:

The Opening Act

The Sauk Prairie Show Choir, Executive Session, (a group that Rayce performed with and is near and dear to Rayce’s family) opened the evening with their 2019 “In the Heights” show.  It was amazing and set the “high-energy” atmosphere for the rest of the evening.  

Matt, their director continued as “MC” of the evening and he was great!  

The Red Hot Horn Dawgs certainly lived up to their reputation as “Madison’s Party Band” and provided great dance music!

The Band.JPG

Welcome from the parents & Raising Awareness - The Research Study

After a warm welcome by John, Susan, Jess and Brad, Doctors Aric Hall and Inga Hofmann, from the Carbone Cancer Center,  two Doctors with big hearts, shared information about their bone marrow transplant/blood disease clinical trial where a portion of our funds will go. 


The “Wish Kids”

One of the most moving events of the night was the introduction of the Make-A-Wish Wisconsin “Wish Kids”.  Gloria, who received Katie’s wish last year was first on stage followed with Dominic who will be one of our 2019 recipients.   Both have Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) the same leukemia Katie suffered from.  The really great news is that they are both doing great with excellent prognoses.

Dominic .JPG

 The final “wish kid” was Ilya who received Katie’s second 2018 wish.  He also was diagnosed with ALL but is doing great!   His wish was to have his own guitar, take lessons and play with Queen.   He got his guitar and lessons and while Queen couldn’t be with us – he did play “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen with The Red Hot Horn Dawgs!  He stole the show – we have a future rock star in our midst!  

The Video, Miracles Minutes

The most stirring moment of the evening was the video tribute to Katie and Rayce. 

Following the video, the Verona Area High School Vocal group:  The Accidentals, (a group Katie performed with in HS)   sang “Seasons of Love” from Rent.  During their moving performance, we held a “Miracle Minute” where attendees were invited to donate via text message to try and raise enough money to grant a wish - and we did!   It was a rewarding yet bittersweet moment.   

 Light Hearted Moments…

 Everyone had a lot of fun bidding on Silent Auction items, chancing their luck in the Raffles and especially playing the Heads or Tails Raffle! Meg was the big winner of an Apple Watch!

So, other than it being a really fun evening how much did we make?

With the auction proceeds, raffle tickets, event tickets, corporate sponsors and ticket sales (after paying bills) we netted over $55,000! 

Our funds will contribute to the bone marrow transplant research study at Carbone Cancer Center, to the American Family Children’s Hospital and to Make-Wish-Wisconsin to grant more wishes!

We are grateful. 

So, what’s next for We Believe in Katie?

There are two upcoming summer events that will be contributing to We Believe in Katie. 

Door County Triathlon

On July 12 & 13,  Meredith Thompson will be competing in the Door County triathlon and  We Believe in Katie, is her chosen charity. Katie was Meredith’s nanny for two summers while Katie was in college.  We have stayed in touch with Meredith’s family and feel honored she has chosen to support Katie’s nonprofit.  Go Meredith!!

Dominic Strong Golf Outing  (Dominic is Katie’s Wish Kid for 2019)

Mark your calendars for Sunday, August 18th for the Dominic Strong Golf Outing.

Dominic’s family is teaming up with We Believe in Katie to host a golf outing to bring people together for a fun-filled day to raise funds for UW Carbone Cancer Center’s blood cancer research and future Make-A-Wish Kids.  

More details to follow for both of these events in the next few weeks.