Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Saint Mary’s Taylor Richmond benefit to help Grathen family of Rollingstone

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University will present the 11th annual Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday, March 26.

The beneficiary of this year’s formal dance — open to the public — is Tony Grathen, the step-grandson of Susan Edel, registrar at Saint Mary’s. Tony is a 7-year-old boy from Rollingstone who was diagnosed with rhabdomysarcoma cancer in April 2010. Rhabdomysarcoma is a rare type of muscular cancer.

Since his diagnosis, Tony has undergone surgery to remove a tumor on his neck as well as 22 lymph nodes. He also has finished a six-week treatment of radiation and requires 44 weeks of chemotherapy. Money raised from the benefit dance and silent auction will help the family pay for medical bills and transportation expenses.

The benefit dance has become an annual tradition since its start in 2001 by students in honor of Taylor Richmond, son of Saint Mary’s Campus Ministry and Student Activities staff member Nikki Richmond and her husband Nick Richmond. Taylor has a genetic terminal illness called Ataxia Telangiectasia (A-T) and the money from his benefit was used to fulfill Taylor’s dream of going to Disney World. Each year this event benefits someone in the SMU community in need.

The dance, featuring music by the Johnny Holm Band, will be held in the Toner Student Center dining room. Ticket prices are $15 per person or $25 per couple. To purchase tickets or receive more information, contact Lance Thompson at (507) 457-1686. Dance tickets will also be available at the door.

In combination with the dance, a silent auction will be held on campus from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 24-25. A variety of homemade goods, gift baskets and specialty items will be on display in the game room, located in the Toner Student Center. The public is welcome to bid.

To make a donation, send checks — payable to the Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance — to Thompson at Saint Mary’s University, 700 Terrace Heights, Box 1528, Winona, MN 55987.