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

Kevin, Blake and Jill Rickert (left to right).

Kevin, Blake and Jill Rickert (left to right). Courtesy: HBB

Through it all Blake has been smiling and laughing his way toward being cancer free, amazing his loving parents Jill, a graphic designer, and Kevin, a Customer Service Representative with American Airlines at the Dane County Regional Airport.

Conquering cancer has a cost. While Blake’s zest for life shows he will put his struggle behind him, the inevitable financial burden is already having an impact, and two maintenance treatments still remain.

Blake’s parents have insurance to cover many of the treatments received so far but other portions of his care are both costly and not covered. This Sunday (April 27) friends of Blake and his family will hold a multi-faceted fundraiser at the Atomic Koi in Fitchburg, Wisconsin to help provide the financial support the Rickerts will need to move beyond this challenging time.

A small cadre of friends have been meeting periodically to plan the event, designing t-shirts and flyers, talking to local businesses, while also taking time to cook dinners for the Rickerts during their many long stays in the hospital.

Bidding on fantastic prizes also kills cancer

While Blake may not have prompted the entire city of San Francisco to transform into Gotham, he has motivated a lot of folks in the Madison area to help. The fundraiser will feature a silent auction and other prizes. So far 75 auction packages have been created including: Coach bags, salon certificates, movie night sets, cabin getaways, a UW tailgating experience, or a Willy Street experience (diner at Grampa’s and a Broom Street Theater show).

Bid on a ride in "Sage" (foreground) owned by local commercial pilot Craig Henry. Photo by: Geoff Sobering

Bid on a ride in “Sage” (foreground), a Twin Comanche owned by local commercial pilot Craig Henry. Photo by: Stephanie Murray Schulko

Other creative packages include golf or a classroom pizza party with WKOW Meteorologist Bob Lindmeier, Yoga, sports memorabilia from Robin Yount or the Green Bay Packers, tickets to the Mad Rollin’ Dolls, or get above it all and take a one hour personalized aerial tour of Madison in an airplane.

In addition to the silent auction and prizes, attendees can also make direct donations by cash or charge. The organizers stress that no monies received through donations or purchased items will be used for administrative costs of the fundraiser.

See a fantastic photo essay depicting one of Blake’s treatments

Additionally, Atomic Koi owner Hawk Sullivan pledges that all income from the event go to the Rickerts and will not be diluted by labor or inventory costs.  Some of the employees are evening donating their tips. Sullivan will also donate the cost to process any donations and transactions made by credit card.

Blake, with his mother jill during treatment. Photo by: Errin Hiltbrand Photography

“Even if you don’t bid on an item, if you come down and buy one drink you will be contributing since one hundred percent of the money you pay for that drink will go to the Rickerts,” Sullivan said.

Help Blake Beat Burkitt’s is April 27, 2014 from 1-5 p.m. at the Atomic Koi, 2685 Research Park Dr, Fitchburg. The event features food and drink like donated Noodles & Company Mac and Cheese, cupcakes, as well as home cooked barbeque pulled pork, rice krispie treats and more.

Can’t make it? An account is set up at Associated Bank with funds going directly to the Rickerts; no fees or other monies will be dedcuted from the transaction. Checks can be made payable to “Blake Rickert Fundraiser.”  Receipts available upon request.  Donations can be made at ANY Associated Bank branch; just reference the Blake Rickert Fundraiser.


Silent Auction items:

“Woods n Wine” Package Wollersheim Winery Tote, “Book of Lore,” poster certificate from APT
Madison Concourse Hotel 1 night stay – Governor’s Club room at Madison Concourse Hotel
“Downtown Dining” Sol’s on the Square and Red Sushi gift certificates, L’Etoile gift card
“Junior Chef Package” Pampered Chef bowls, Tastefully Simple items, Flip Dog Cutting Board
“His and Her Salon Package” Sport Clips Basket, Products courtesy of Cuture, Shear Designs gift card, Rock n Glam Salon and Tanning gift cards, “Thirty-one” tote bag
American Girl Doll of the Year “Isabelle”
“My AG” Package My AG doll, 2 AG outfits, AG desk
Jason Aldean Tix + 2 Party Bus Tix
Bob Lindmeier Classroom Pizza Party
Keva Sports Center Gift certificate for a child’s summer class, ball, bag, t-shirts
“Robin Yount” Package Robin Yount signed 3000 hit commemorative  bat with letter of authenticity, signed Robin Yount ball (not a 3000 hit commemorative ball)
UW Tailgate Package Hotel Red 1 night stay, UW backpack with school supplies, UW Provisions gift card, UW football
Grilling package Duluth Trading Co. grill set, Mustard Museum trio pack, Underground Butcher gift card
Kids Basket Spanish books basket, MCM passes, blanket
“Lady Basket” Misc choc/wine basket, “Hosch Hobbies” blocks, SD Jewelry, C. Alexandria jewelry, anklet by Artistic at Heart, handmade cards by Kathryn Ritchie
Green Bay 2013 football Football
“Pamper Me” Basket Body Cologe Hand Lotion, Hempz Hand Lotion, Calgon Milk Bath, 3 China Glaze Nail Polish, Ghirardelli Squares, 2 coffee mugs, 2 Steep and Brew Coffee, Steep and Brew gift card, Panera gift card, coconut tea
“Vortex Optics” Package 1-Talon 8 x 32 Binoculars, 1 -Harness Strap , 1 – Hat, 1 – vortex logo sticker
“Feel Good” Basket Oral-B Electric Toothbrush with bag, Crest Toothpaste, Crest Mouth Rinse, dental floss, breath mints, Tic Tacs, AMC Movie Theater gift pass, Buffalo Wild Wings gift card, Mad City t-shirt, Matrix Biolage Shampoo, Matrix Biolage Conditioner, Aquafina Lip Balm, Hempz Hand Lotion
Dental basket Waterpik Waterflosser, Sonicare toothbrush, 4 pkgs of dental floss, 2 Colgate toothpaste, 1 Colgate mouthwash
Jewelry by Studio DeBre 2 necklaces, 1 earrings
Ultrazone Laser Tag Birthday Party  gift certificate
Madison Swim Academy Birthday Party Child’s birthday party gift certificate
“Willy Street” Package 2 Broom Street Theater tickets, Grampa’s Pizzeria gift card – 3 course meal + bottle of wine
Blue Turtle Day Spa gift certificate, body wash, lotion, room spray, bath salts
Wilderness Resort Card
Rusty Wallace Racing Ride Along Experience
Cabin Trip 2 night stay at Carl’s Cabins with gas card
Pacific Cycle boys bicycle
“Bike Lover” Package Saris Bike Rack and Fitchburg Cycles Bicycle Tune Up certificate
Laine Rose Photography Gift Certificate
“Let’s Go to the Movies” Movie basket with Marcus movie tickets, treats, gift certificates. Rocky Rococo’s Family Meal Deal certificate
“Northside Night” Kavanaugh’s Esquire Supper Club certificate, 4 Madison Mallards boxed seats, Mallards hat
Golf with Bob Lindmeier You and 2 golfing budies will golf with Bob at Legend of Bergamont Golf Course (Oregon).  Cart and balls included.
Scenic Madison Airplane Ride Highly experienced commercial rated pilot, Craig Henry, will give 3 passengers a 1 hour, personal aerial tour of Madison in his twin engine aircraft (pictured).
Coca Cola Fridge
“Family Package” Ten Pin Alley Certificate, Rocky Rococo Family Meal Deal, Vitense Golfland Tickets
Holiday  Inn + Benvenutos 1 night stay with waterpark and Benvenutos Gift card
Chinese tea set and tapestry Nanjing Yunjin brocade weaving in frame, Ceremonial tea set from Shenzhen, China
“Fitchburg Movie Night” 4 AMC Movie Passes and Curry in the Box gift certificates
“I Love my Dog” Package Waggin’ Tails gift certificate, 4 Mutts Pet Setting and Dog Walking gift certificate, Antler Chew toy, “Chuck It” toy, Mounds gift card
Pet Package 4 Mutts Pet Setting and Dog Walking gift certificate (good for cats and dogs), Mounds gift card
“Girl’s Package” 1 Coach bag, Nani Day Spa certificate
“Girl’s Package” 2 Coach bag, Hybrid Salon gift certificate
“Girl’s Package” 3 Longchamp bag, Le Spa facial certificate
Coach Bag set Coach bag, Coach coin purse
“Babies and Blankies” 4 pre-natal yoga sessions, 2 baby blankets, Skip Hop Zoo bib/bowl/plate set
“Workout Package” 1 month 9Round membership, bag, hand wraps and 3 month Anytime Fitness membership
“Yoga” Basket Yoga bag, yoga mat, All-Grip Yoga Brick & Strap, water bottle, DVD.  2 Touch of Pilates gift certificates
“Fit” Package 3 Month Anytime Fitness membership, 10 session Dragonfly Hot Yoga certificate
“Wellness Package” 1 Qivana Basket and 21 Day Challenge Get Fit in 30
“Wellness Package” 2 Dr. Wang Acupuncture gift certificate and Iron Pagoda gift certificate
“Wellness Package” 3 4 Private yoga sessions, Dr. Wang Acupuncture gift certificate
“Eastside Treats” Spaghetti Board for 6 at Bunky’s Café, Swad Indian Restaurant, Angelo’s
Revive Skin and Laser Studio gift certificate
Aleman Cleaning 2 gift certificates  – 1 kitchen, 1 bathroom
Birthday Party Package Wildcat Lanes Kids’ Bday Party, 4 Bowling Passes, kids’ handmade cards
Craft Beer Cooler Igloo Cooler filled with Tyranena 3 Beaches Honey Blonde, Wisconsin Brewing APA, New Holland IPA, Bells Oberon, Ale Asylum Ambergeddon, Lake Louie Warp Speed Scotch Ale, Founders Porter, Central Waters Satin Solitude Imperial Stout
Tattoos 2 gift certificates
“Westside Stay” Residence Inn and Suites 1 night stay + breakfast and Biaggi’s gift card
Mad Rollin’ Dolls Basket Tix, etc
Capitol Lakes 5 step lawn care system (fertilize and herbicide)
“The Arts” Package for You and a Friend 2 certificates for 2 introductory drawing lessons and 2 certificates for 2 introductory piano lessons; all ages
“Local Wisco Meat and Cheese” Basket Flip Dog Pig cutting board, Underground Butcher gift certificate, Roth Cheese Tray
Flip Dog Cutting Board
Madisound Zaph|Audio ZA5.3 MTM, Pair, With Cabinets
Coffee Lovers Set Cargo Coffee Tin with Atomic and Mexican blends and Eco-Air Glass Lined Airpot
Green Bay Packers Package Green Bay Packers autographed cloth helmet, autographed baseball cap, autographed unframed 11×17 photo, team autographed 2005 football in glass case
“A Glass Act” 8 depression glasses, large crystal pitcher, small crystal pitcher
“Taste of Verona” Cuco’s Mexican Restaurant gift card, Draft House gift card, Tivalu Coffeehouse and Gallery gift card, Miller and Sons grocery gift card
Boy’s Basket Tonka construction toys and Rainbow Loom
Relaxing Day in Janesville Ultima Salon certiifcate, Touch of Pilates certificate
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