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Community rallying behind local cancer patients with fundraising event

Photos from previous PINK night fundraisers at Thunder Ridge High School in Ammon. | Courtesy
AMMON – A local basketball team hopes to see you in pink at their game this week.
The Thunder Ridge Titans are hosting the fourth annual PINK night fundraiser during their home game against the Bonneville Bees Wednesday, Feb. 2. The purpose of the event is to honor Seth Sautter, a 3-year-old boy who was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this month.
A news release for the event indicates Seth will be required to make weekly trips to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City over the next three years. Administrators and members of the basketball team’s booster club are rallying the community together to raise funds for the Shannon Wilker Foundation, a local nonprofit that benefits local cancer patients.
Michele Kennedy, a booster club member who is helping to organize the event, tells they’ve partnered with local businesses to sponsor a silent auction on Seth’s behalf.
“The silent auction will have a vast variety of items, from professional services to high-end items like jewelry,” Kennedy says. “There will be something of interest for every person attending.”
Among the prizes are a one-night stay at the Sawtelle Mountain Resort in Island Park, a 3-month membership to Crossfit Tsavo in Idaho Falls and gear from Action Motor Sports. Members of the basketball team will be providing gift baskets and other services.
There will also be a special presentation at half-time about resources available to cancer patients at Mountain View Hospital and Teton Cancer Institute. Pink T-shirts will be on-hand for those who attend.

Courtesy photo

Lee Toldson, head coach and program director for Thunder Ridge Boys Basketball, was instrumental in starting the annual PINK night when the school first opened in 2018. There was a similar program at the school he worked at previously in Douglas, Wyoming and he wanted to bring it to Ammon.
“It’s always been important to me to teach my players to look for ways to make a difference in their communities,” Toldson says in a news release. “We are honored to support Seth and let him and his family know they are not alone.”
Shane Wilker formed the Shannon Wilker Foundation in 2016 in honor of his wife, who passed away from breast cancer in 2011. He’s enjoyed keeping her memory alive over the last decade by providing aid to other cancer patients and their families.
“We absolutely love being a part of PINK NIGHT,” Shane says in a news release.
Nearly $10,000 was raised during the inaugural event. It’s been widely supported every year since then and Kennedy is hoping this year will be its biggest yet.
“We hope to double the proceeds from past events because of the great need in the community,” says Kennedy. “There’s never enough money to help cancer patients. It’s so expensive. It’s a great financial burden in so many ways.”
During a conversation with, Kennedy also gave a shout-out to Mason Strong, a Thunder Ridge freshman who was diagnosed with bone cancer last summer. He tested positive for COVID-19 several weeks ago and his mom asked the community for prayers on his behalf in a recent Facebook post.
“He is struggling to breathe. His body is weak and needs added measure to be able to fight off any part of Covid so he may gain some relief from distress and discomfort,” she wrote.
The freshman and junior varsity games will begin at 6 p.m. with the varsity getting underway around 7:30. All the proceeds will benefit the Shannon Wilker Foundation. Those unable to attend can still make a donation.
To donate or learn more, click here.

PINK Night fundraiser in a previous year. | Courtesy
The post Community rallying behind local cancer patients with fundraising event appeared first on East Idaho News.

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