Blake Rickert Fundraiser Sets Blueprint for Low-resource Organizers

Donations triple expectations during auction event

Help Blake Beat Burkitt's

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Donation jars at the ready for the Help Blake Beat Burkitt's Fundraiser. Bartenders also donated their wages and tips. Photo by: Brett Williams
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Mac and Cheese was loved by all, donated by Noodles & Company. Photo by: Brett Williams
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Help Blake Beat Burkitt's T-shirts were very popular. Photo by: Brett Williams
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Even the Atomic Koi worked to provide a welcoming atmosphere. Photo by: Brett Williams
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The calm before the silent auction storm. Photo by: Brett Williams
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Organizers fly about preparing for the Help Blake Beat Burkitt's Fundraiser. Photo by: Brett Williams
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Blake's aunt Stacy Laufenberg Schmidt painted faces for the cause. She was quite busy. Photo by: Brett Williams
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Photo by: Brett Williams
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Blake (right) with his father Kevin and cousin (left). Photo by: Brett Williams
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Photo by: Brett Williams
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Blake Rickert who is also known as "SuperBlake" for the way he has endured his treatment by smiling through it all. Photo by: Brett Williams
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Photo by: Brett Williams
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Blake and father Kevin (left). Photo by: Brett Williams
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A WKOW-Madison reporter works on a report about the Help Blake Beat Burkitt's Fundraiser. Photo by: Brett Williams
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Balloon guy was only second in popularity to Blake. Photo by: Brett Williams
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Lead organizer Kristina Miller won praise for her work in planning the event. Photo by: Brett Williams
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Reflections on a great effort by the organizers Caitlin Waldhart and Kent Miller. Photo by: Brett Williams
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Blake Rickert with his grandfather (right) and an unidentified family member. Photo by: Brett Williams
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Atomic Koi organizer Hawk Sullivan likened the pace strength of the crowed to New Years Eve. Photo by: Brett Williams
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Organizer Kent Miller models a Help Blake Beat Burkitt's Fundraiser t-shirt. Photo by: Brett Williams
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Photo by: Brett Williams
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Organizers Kris Prusynski (left) and Brett Williams (right) with an attendee. Photo courtesy: Brett Williams
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Photo by: Brett Williams
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Kevin Rickert. Photo by: Brett Williams
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Caitlin Waldhart prepares a UW Tailgate Experience auction package for display.
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Help Blake Beat Burkitt's Fundraiser auction item.
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Help Blake Beat Burkitt's Fundraiser auction item.
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Help Blake Beat Burkitt's Fundraiser auction item.
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The fully stocked beer cooler bid sheet was well-trafficked.
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Help Blake Beat Burkitt's Fundraiser auction item.
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Help Blake Beat Burkitt's Fundraiser auction item.
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The Atomic Koi party on through the afternoon.
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Gold with Bob Lindemeier fetched $300
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These custom cupcakes from Cupcakes-a-go-go were go-go-going and gone within an hour.
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Help Blake Beat Burkitt's Fundraiser auction item.
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Help Blake Beat Burkitt's Fundraiser auction item.
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A young attendee is entranced by the Atomic Koi.
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Blake's mom Jill Rickert.
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Help Blake Beat Burkitt's Fundraiser auction item.
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Stacy Laufenberg Schmidt pressed her daughter into service at the t-shirt, bracelet and tattoo table.
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Brett Williams and Kevin Rickert.
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Some bidders phoned a friend.
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Blake Rickert.
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Help Blake Beat Burkitt's Fundraiser auction item.
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Patrick Rogne was tireless as a greeter at the entrance, doling out door prizes and managed to distribute two difficult items: Two patio umbrellas.
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Help Blake Beat Burkitt's Fundraiser auction item.
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Gallery photos by Brett Williams and Willy Street Blog 

 

Nearly three months ago, when organizers started planning the Help Blake Beat Burkitt’s fundraiser, they never thought they would nearly triple their even most ambitious monetary goal. But thats what happened when approximately 200 people packed the Atomic Koi in Fitchburg for four hours Sunday (April 27) and raised through a silent auction, raffle and donations $13,591 to help offset the cost of 4-year old Blake Rickert’s successful treatment of Burkitt’s Leukemia.

The star of the event was Blake himself who got permission to leave the hospital for a few hours to attend the fundraiser. Despite fighting an illness all week, he was all smiles as he connected with friends and family and was fascinated, as were all the kids in attendance, by the “Balloon Guy”, who fashioned balloon figurines. Other kid favorites included face painting by Blake’s Aunt Stacy Laufenberg Schmidt and temporary tattoos of the “SuperBlake” logo.

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Help Blake Beat Burkitt’s Leukemia This Sunday

Fundraiser for a boy who beat leukemia but needs help beating bills

1899955_272627359567181_877352916_nI first met 4-year old Blake Rickert at a birthday dinner for his mother about a year ago and I was impressed with his undying exuberance even though he was the only child amongst ten other adults.

I would see this precocious young man at other friend gatherings from then on, playing with toys that boys often find interesting like trucks and large construction equipment. This fellow has more texture than that as I’m told he also likes gardening, shoveling, and of course, superheros. Just about every superhero needs a sidekick. With the evil foes Blake has been fighting so far in 2014, he is looking for his Robin (Dick Grayson for purists).

It was earlier this year that Blake was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Leukemia, a rare form of cancer that is aggressive (growing in size every 14 hours) but also highly treatable. Since January he has been undergoing an aggressive treatment protocol at the American Family Childrens Hospital with very encouraging results. Recently Blake’s mother Jill announced that a bone marrow biopsy found no leukemic cells and all the tumors are gone.

I guess he has earned a newly bestowed moniker: Super Blake

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