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GLENWOOD CITY — Glenwood City freshman Michaela Blaser was prepared to donate her flowing locks to Wigs and Wishes, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing wigs and granting wishes to individuals battling cancer, in honor of her grandmother Wendy Gregerson’s ongoing battle against breast cancer.
But like so many worthwhile events and endeavors, COVID-19 wiped out Blaser’s desire to donate her hair after concerns due to the pandemic made such donations no longer acceptable.
Undaunted, Blaser, a member of the Glenwood City girls’ basketball squad, instead forged ahead and approached her head coach, Carly Kittilson, with an idea for a free-will donation drive during a pair of back-to-back home basketball games.
“I would feel so accomplished if I knew I made someone’s day and helped out the best I could,” Michaela’s words read on a flyer promoting the Wigs and Wishes Fundraiser.
“I know it has been a struggle for everyone in my family with my grandma fighting everyday, and I would love to make it easier for someone else, knowing what they have gone through,” she added.
So on January 11 and 12, in games against Augusta and Mondovi, Blaser and her Topper teammates held the fundraiser that brought in $1,870.10 for the cause that is near and dear to the freshman’s heart.
Michaela’s mother and Wendy Gregerson’s daughter, Christa Edin, who works in the Glenwood City School District, reported that a sizable portion of the final tally came from Michaela’s uncle Chad Halbach of Halbach Plumbing who matched the first $500 donated and was further aided by generous donations by Jill Charland with Rolling Hills Warriors out of Knapp, many of Gregerson’s close friends and family and staff of the Glenwood City Schools that raised an additional $240.10.
Michaela has worked closely with Karla Gilbertson of Attitudes Salon in Hammond in an effort to assist those who struggle with hair loss due to cancer treatments from which the idea for the fundraiser was born.
Gilbertson will be helping Blaser with the purchase of several wigs for the Wigs and Wishes program. Grandma Wendy has been the reciepient of a pair of wigs through the non-profit.
Unfortunately, Wendy Gregerson passed away last week but Edin said she and her daughter Michaela are so thankful for all the donations and the differences they will make in the lives of other cancer patients.