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Event to offset costs of educator’s cancer battle

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BEMIDJI – For more than 20 years, Lou Shogren has taught young learners as an early-childhood educator with Bemidji Community Education.

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Now, her friends and coworkers are hoping the families she’s touched will attend a benefit planned in Shogren’s honor as she battles ovarian cancer.

“Going anywhere with her is like going to a parade,” said Shogren’s sister Debbie Tuck. “Every kid she’s ever (taught) remembers her.”

Shogren has undergone two surgeries to fight the cancer and continues to undergo weekly chemotherapy.

“She’s just such a caring person,” said Angie Dahlberg, a speech clinician with Early Childhood Special Education. “She’s all about others.

The benefit will be 3-7 p.m. Sunday at the Bemidji Eagles, 1270 Neilson Ave. SE, featuring a roast beef dinner, raffle and silent auction.

The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children under 10; tickets will be available at the door. Supplemental funds are being provided by Thrivent.

Those unable to attend are encouraged to go online to www.giveforward.com/loushogrenbenefit to make a donation.

Sue Roetman, secretary with the Early Childhood Family Education program, said all raffle and auction items have been from throughout the community.

“It’s been really amazing for her to see the outpouring of love,” Tuck said of her sister’s reaction to the benefit. “She just really appreciates the fact that so many people want to help her.”

Both of Shogren’s surgeries were done at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, to which she also makes frequent visits for follow-up appointments and further testing.

Shogren’s husband, Gregg, was recently laid off from his job, too, which has further added to the family’s financial hardships.

Shogren, herself, will be unable to attend the benefit, but hopes Gregg will be able to able there and their three children plan to attend as well, Roetman noted.

On Shogren’s biography page of the Bemidji Community Education website, she said her favorite subject to teach is early reading skills.

“It’s so fun and rewarding to see kids discovering the joy of reading,” she writes.

If You Go:

What: Benefit for Lou Shogren

When: 3-7 p.m. Sunday

Where: Bemidji Eagles, 1270 Neilson Ave. SE

Cost: $10 adults, $4 children under 10

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