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Sydney Dorion, the 11 year old daughter of Pam and Cam Dorion of Nisswa, MN attended Kick’n Up Kountry through the “Hopes, Dreams, & Smiles” program in 2012 due to her being diagnosed with Retinoblastoma, which is a rare, cancerous tumor of a part of the eye called the retina. Sydney lost her eye to this dreaded disease when she was just 4 years old. She was so impressed with the “Hopes, Dreams, & Smiles” program and met so many other children and their families that she told her mother that she wanted to help make it possible for other children with a life threatening illness to attend Kick’n Up Kountry through the program.
Sydney and Pam decided to sew pot holders to sell. They chose a special pattern that will hold a bowl and can be placed in the microwave so when you take the bowl out you will not burn your fingers. Pam gave Sydney $1.00 for each pot holder sold and she raised $150.00. She went shopping for a special picture of the American flag and when she found it she brought it to Kick’n Up Kountry this year, had all the artists autograph her picture and had it auctioned off during the festival. Sydney raised $1650.00 for “ Hopes, Dreams, & Smiles” and other children at the auction. The winning bidder was Gail Norland of Hallock, MN. Once Gail got the picture home and discovered she didn’t have a wall large enough to display the autographed picture, she contacted Greg Sandahl from Lake Bronson, MN who was the other bidder who really wanted the picture since he is a Veteran and is close to the Dorion children. Greg purchased the picture from Gail so Sydney actually raised more than the original $1650.00 since the picture was sold twice for other children .
Sydney told her story on stage at Kick’n Up Kountry and explained that she is now 11 years old and has been cancer free for 7 years. She said “ I want to pay it forward by selling my picture!”
Needless to say there was hardly a dry eye in the place.
Congratulations to Terri Jerik!!! She was the lucky winner of the GEO Tracker equipped with Mattracks!
Above photo, pictured left to right: Darin Teie, President of the Karlstad Eagles Club; lucky winner of the Geo Tracker, Terri Jerik of Grand Forks, ND; Glen Brazier, CEO of Mattracks and Ardell Larson, CEO of Kick’n Up Kountry.
Check out more photos in our photo gallery!