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Emily plans to raise money for the Youth Corps in honor of her grandmother, Louise. (Kalee Holland / Enterprise)

Park Rapids teen to play piano at Bella Caffé in honor of cancer victims

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Four years ago, local high school student Emily Eystad lost her grandmother Louise to breast cancer after a twenty year long battle. Heavily impacted by her death, Emily and her mother Nancy were determined to do what they could to help in the effort to cure breast cancer.

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Emily's mother first participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk one week after Louise passed. Emily, overcome with admiration and pride in her mother, promised herself that she would someday participate in the walk as well.

Last year, Emily went through with her promise by being accepted into the Youth Corps. Originated in Boston, Mass., the Youth Corps is an opportunity for kids ages 10-16 to serve as crewmembers on the three day walk. Her job included filling water bottles, making ice bags for the medical tent, cheering walkers on, and other sideline tasks.

"I got to learn so much from my experience last year!" she wrote. "I learned that it is great to help out, and it was amazing to see so many people working towards the same goal...it makes me so happy to know that I am getting to be a part of ending breast cancer!"

As well as refilling water bottles and cheering others on, her fellow Youth Corps members were asked to raise $500 each. To achieve the goal, Emily wrote to various friends, asking for donations. This year, there is no set minimum, but it is encouraged that each corps member fundraise.

It is for this reason that Emily decided to hold a piano recital at Bella Caffé on Wednesday, July 25. She will perform a variety of compositions, including some lyrical. Admission is free, but donations are greatly appreciated in any amount.

To learn more about the 3-Day Walk, visit www.the3day.org/site/PageServer. To learn more about the Youth Corps, roll your mouse over "Learn More" and click on "Crew/Volunteer" under "Other Ways to Help."

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