Audrey's Purple Dream returns to Akeley Saturday
The 17th annual fundraising event to fight cancer will be held on 11th Crow Wing Lake on Saturday, Feb. 11.
The 17th annual fundraising event for Audrey’s Purple Dream to fight cancer will be held on 11th Crow Wing Lake in Akeley Saturday.
The event was started to help raise money when Audrey Pidde had cancer and has been run ever since by her daughter Shannah (Pidde) Geimer.
“It is so well supported every year,” Geimer said. “People look forward to it, especially the locals. A lot of guys say it’s their favorite day of the winter. It’s something to do and it’s fun. The more people we give money to, those families like to give back by coming out to support us.
“We’ve gifted over $200,000 to people in the area with cancer. We get lots of really nice thank-you cards that will bring you to tears when they share the impact the money they received had. It touches our hearts to realize we are making a difference. It’s really special, and it just continues to grow.”
Gifts make a difference
Akeley resident Peggy Lindstrom is one of many area residents who have been helped on their cancer journey with funds raised through Audrey’s Purple Dream.
Lindstrom grew up and went to school in Akeley. She knew Audrey Pidde, whom Audrey’s Purple Dream was started to help. “She was two years older than me,” she said.
After finishing college and getting married, Lindstrom and her husband moved back to Akeley.
Lindstrom taught first grade in Park Rapids for 38 years and is now retired.
She has had cancer three times. She was first diagnosed with cancer in 2001, then diagnosed with cancer again in 2019 and 2022.
“Get regular checkups, get your mammograms done and listen to your body,” she said.
Last year, Lindstrom received a check from Audrey’s Purple Dream in the mail after her name was submitted by someone anonymously.
“I received a letter and a substantial check in the mail,” she said. “I started crying and went out and showed it to my husband, Jeff, and we stood outside hugging wondering how someone could do this for me. It was a total surprise. I’m very, very, very grateful.”
The money was used to pay for traveling to doctor appointments and for other expenses.
“I’ve gone to 44 doctor appointments,” she said. “Trips to Park Rapids, Detroit Lakes, Fargo and Brainerd. That’s a lot of trips. Some prescriptions weren’t paid for. There are also lots of extra expenses when you go through cancer. When my hair was falling out with chemo, I had to buy head wraps.”
Lindstorm decided to give back to Audrey’s Purple Dream by making and donating a baby rag quilt and “Goodnight Moon” book to the silent auction fundraiser that will be held at the Red River Event Center Saturday.
“Even if you don’t fish, you can still come to the silent auction and bid on the items,” she said. “It’s a wonderful cause.”
Lindstrom said it’s also important for people to know that the person with cancer can be nominated to receive support from Audrey’s Purple Dream by family and friends.
“It’s so nice that we have this for people in our community,” she said. “It’s unbelievable.”
Applications for funds for someone in the area with cancer are available online at audreyspurpledream.com as well as an event schedule for Saturday
“We help people from Akeley, Nevis, Park Rapids, Dorset, Walker, Hackensack, Longville, all this area,” Geimer said. “Whatever you need or want it for we are here to help provide some light at the end of the tunnel. It could be to take a dream vacation or see a family member or pay for gas to appointments or to build a handicap ramp.
“We’ve done special mattresses, a washer and dryer and a kitchen stove. When expenses come up when someone is fighting cancer they might not have the money because it’s costing so much for doctors.”
Checks for the cause may be sent to Audrey’s Purple Dream, PO Box 272, Akeley, MN, 56433.
Registration for the fishing tournament is from 10 a.m. until noon at the fish house just off the Akeley public boat landing on 11th Crow Wing Lake. The $15 fishing fee goes to help area residents with cancer.
There is parking on the landing but most participants bring fish houses and park on the lake. The fishing tournament goes from noon to 2:30 p.m. There will be a trophy for the largest fish and a $1,000 prize for the 17th largest fish.
The plunge into the hole in the ice on 11th Crow Wing Lake will be at 3 p.m.
After the plunge, the remainder of the events will be held at the Red River Event Center on Hwy. 34 in Akeley.
Fishing prizes will be awarded at 4:30 p.m. Buttons will be for sale for $2 with drawings for over 100 door prizes donated by area businesses including a $1,000 grand prize.
Drawings for door prizes will begin at 6 p.m. and bids will be taken on silent auction items until 7 p.m.
From 8 p.m. until midnight the band Nate’s Fish will perform.
“The band was named after my brother, Nate, who caught this big huge one year and went uptown to show pictures to everyone of the fish that were on his phone,” Geimer said. “Everyone started asking people if they had seen Nate’s fish and one of the guys who formed the band decided to use that name for their band.”
Residents are also “painting the town purple” in a home decorating contest sponsored by the Eastern Hubbard County Fire District with $150 for first place, $100 for second place and $50 for third place.