The It Only Takes A Spark Cancer Walk celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The 2017 Walk is scheduled for June 9-10.
Teams have until January 31 to sign up. “There is no registration fee the first year,” stated core committee member Ann Tuchscherer. “We are trying to develop teams that want to participate, but can’t stay the whole night. We’re adding volunteer walkers to represent teams that only plan to stay until midnight.”
Currently, there are 11 teams in the event which raises money to help local cancer patients. “ We really want to stress any funds raised stay in the community,” Tuchscherer said. “Seventy percent of the funds are committed to cancer patients in the greater Grant County area. Twenty percent may also be designated to those patients or may be used for cancer-related equipment at the hospital or for research. In recent years, it has been used for cancer equipment. Ten percent or less is used for operating expenses.”
The cancer walk in Milbank started in 1998 as the Relay for Life. The first year, 14 teams raised between $35,000 to $40,000 for the American Cancer Society. In 1999, the Relay for Life was replaced by It Only Takes A Spark and grossed $28,200. Fifty percent of the funds went to the cancer sector of Grant County Heart and Cancer, 40% went to state and/or national cancer research, and 10% was used for operating funds and cancer prevention and awareness.
The walk has evolved and shifted its focus to patients in the local area. In 2015, it generated over $140,000 and last year it raised $130,000.
To register a team or to assist in the It Only Takes A Spark Cancer Walk, call Ann Tuchscherer at 432-6023.