Contributed by the
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
A quick drive through Cherokee county would be plenty to convince travelers that our area abounds with talented people.
The streets of Cherokee itself are lined with charming stonework, floral displays and wonderful shops. Our roadsides are lined with bountiful fields of corn and beans, thanks to the talents and toils of our local farmers. Look closer and one would find scattered amongst the residential neighborhoods live numerous residents who have a passion and a knack for a certain skill or hobby. Shirley Skadeland and daughter Linda Grauer are two of such residents.
The two share a love of quilting. Linda carefully pieces together the intricate quilt blocks, and Shirley with her long arm quilting machine, helps transform it into a work of art. What is even more wonderful about their family talent is that they are collectively willing to devote it along with plenty of their time to a cause now close to their hearts.
Five years ago, these women learned that they had a granddaughter who had been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. While both had some knowledge of what the disease was, it was somewhat devastating to learn further details, and realize what a struggle lie ahead of their new granddaughter.
Cystic Fibrosis is a life threatening disease which mainly causes plugging and scarring of the lungs, and difficulties in digesting food properly. "She is a brave little fighter." Says her mother Carrie. "She has been through more tests, procedures and surgeries in her five years than I have at thirty-one". "She takes what seems to be an ever increasing quantity of medicines and therapeutic treatments each day, but it is what her body needs to function and grow, and she's doing wonderfully!" Carrie adds.
Christa Lux, shown here with her mother, Carrie Lux; her grandmother, Linda Grauer; and her great grandmother, Shirley Skadeland, looks like a picture of health today. She is the motivation which has set this family into high gear to help raise research money for CF. Her daily fight against the disease also inspires many in the community to contribute to a local outdoor concert event in Cherokee known as "Rock the Block".
"Funding for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's research is vital here and now", says Lux. According to the national CFF, there are a number of very promising treatments for CF on the horizon. "Testing and trials with each new therapy are terribly expensive. Because CF affects just 30,000 or so young adults and children across the country, it is not a disease on the drug companies' high priority list to cure. A large part of the funding for the therapies we are lucky to have today, was raised by parents of CF children generations before Christa. Thank goodness those families took the initiative to do so, or many of the life preserving treatments she uses now might not be around," explained Lux.
Three years ago, a family friend suggested that a street dance would be a great way to raise money and bring awareness to the cause. This friend, and now co-chair of the event Lisa Vandelune, had what would turn out to be a golden idea. A committee of very much appreciated friends & family help pull together the event each year.
Leading up to the performance there are now many fun activities to enjoy. There will be no gate fee for families and individuals who come to enjoy the meal and activities before 8 p.m. After 8 p.m. the gate fee will be just $3 per head (children are still free).
This years' Rock the Block crowd will enjoy a family friendly place for all the kids to run and play at the fairgrounds. The fairground gates will open at 5 p.m. and guests are asked to enter through the south gate.
A delicious pork loin meal grilled up by the local pork producers to start the evening off right. One new addition to the event will be a classic car shine and show from 5-7 p.m.. Classic car owners can cruise in with their favorite car and their favorite cruisin' partner to enjoy a relaxing summer Iowa evening. Car enthusiasts can stroll through to admire the beautiful cars.
The kid's zone this year will include pony rides courtesy of the Cavaliers, lots of old fashioned carnival games, home made ice cream, crafts, inflatable bounce houses, and loads of fun prizes. While children enjoy the games, the parents will be able to browse the wide selection of items up for chance in the raffle area. They will have family packages, and sporting event get-aways to offer, along with autographed memorabilia and exciting merchandise and certificates donated by local businesses & beyond.
One of the featured items at the raffle will be the beautiful quilt shown in the photo as well. The committee adds that if you have questions or are unable to attend but would like to contribute, to please phone 712-225-6239, or mail a check to treasurer & co-chair Lisa Vandelune, 1813, 500th St, Cherokee, IA 51012.
The crew is as always proud to say that 100% of their proceeds go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Our committee members this year also could be contacted for details or to leave a contribution with: LynnRochelle Williams, Korrie Waldner, Natalie Wulfsen, Amy Letsche, Carey Ducommun, Pam Cox, or Kendall Barnes.