A way to give back

Eight years ago Dawn Walstad set a personal goal for herself: she was determined to run a 5K race. After a friend convinced her to run in Susan G. Komen Wisconsin’s Race for the Cure, she became hooked on a cause that would become one of her top passions.

No stranger to helping those in need

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Dawn at her first Race for the Cure.

Helping those in need is not a new concept for Dawn. Her full-time job includes working with developmentally disabled persons. Outside of her nine-to-five work, Dawn commits to doing two big fundraisers a year to help people in that Madison community. Since that first Race for the Cure eight years ago, Komen Wisconsin is lucky enough to be one of those two causes Dawn fundraises for each year.

“I started fundraising for Susan G. Komen Wisconsin because I liked the community,” Dawn said. “I liked knowing how the money was being used, and I liked the passion everyone involved had about the cause.”

No ordinary fundraiser

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Dawn continues to fundraise for Susan G. Komen Wisconsin because she knows it helps people right in her local community.

Komen Wisconsin’s annual event in Madison, which is now the MORE THAN PINK Walk, has become much more to Dawn than just a distance to run. She is now a dedicated committee member and one of the top fundraisers in the state.

Residing in Portage, Dawn relies on her local community to support her fundraising efforts. She knows that her friends, family and local neighbors are key to her fundraising efforts.

“I started fundraising for Susan G. Komen Wisconsin because I liked the community. I liked knowing how the money was being used, and I liked the passion everyone involved had about the cause.”

When spring rolls around each year, Dawns puts out jars at local establishments like bars, restaurants and her go-to bowling alley. She decorates the jars with the catchy-slogan, “Give your change to make a change.”

A few years ago she also started partnering with a local company called Chick-n-Dips. Dawn buys dips from the company, and then sells them at her friends’ rummage sales. In addition to the dips, she has even raffled off homemade pies at friends’ places of work.

When it comes to fundraising, creativity is Dawn’s specialty.

Don’t walk the road alone

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Dawn began fundraising for Susan G. Komen Wisconsin after her first Race for the Cure.

But why sit at rummage sales selling dips and spend time baking pies to raffle off all in the name of fundraising for Komen Wisconsin? To Dawn, the answer is simple.

“Unfortunately finances are often what makes or breaks us. If someone is sick, and they cannot pay their bills and they cannot take their kids to daycare and they cannot drive to their appointments, how are they going to heal?” Dawn said. “To know that someone can at least take their mind off of their financial situation for awhile and just focus on healing is why I am here and why I want to help.”

Dawn’s fundraising efforts for Komen Wisconsin directly help people in her local community. The funds she raises goes toward cutting-edge breast cancer research – including research right in Wisconsin.

“Get the help you need and take every ounce of support you can get,” Dawn said. “That is why we are fundraising — so that you can get the help you need, and so that you can ease your mind somewhere along the way.”

Her fundraising efforts also benefit the Susan G. Komen Wisconsin Breast Cancer Assistance Fund, which provides financial support for breast health services like mammograms and clinical breast exams, as well as support services for those with breast cancer. This can include transportation to and from treatment, childcare, insurance copays and more.

According to Dawn, her biggest hope is that people in her community going through something like a breast cancer diagnosis don’t have to walk the road alone.

“Get the help you need and take every ounce of support you can get,” Dawn said. “That is why we are fundraising — so that you can get the help you need, and so that you can ease your mind somewhere along the way.”


To learn more about the Susan G. Komen Wisconsin Breast Cancer Assistance Fund, click here.
To register for the MORE THAN PINK Walk nearest you, click here.
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