Those who work for the city of Lanesboro have been organizing a benefit to help one of their own. Joe Rodgers of rural Lanesboro retired from his job with the city last spring. He and his wife, Sue, had plans to move closer to their son, but Joe hadn't been feeling well.

According to Bobbie Jo Vickerman, Lanesboro's city administrator, Joe went through several tests before doctors found a tumor in his diaphragm about the size of a checkbook. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 Large B Cell Lymphoma.

A benefit will raise funds to help the Rodgerses with medical expenses associated with this diagnosis. It will be held Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Lanesboro Community Center. All proceeds will go to Joe and Sue, who has also battled cancer.

"Anyone who knows Joe knows he is a kind, caring person that would do anything for anyone," Vickerman said. "We want to be there for him, because he has always been there for us."

Joe will go through three chemo treatments - one every 21 days - then the doctors will determine whether or not the tumor has shrunk at all, Vickerman said.

A silent auction will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; food will be available for a free will donation and drinks will be available for purchase.

Vickerman said many items have been donated for the auction, but they would love to have more. Right now they have prints, photos, a gun, clothing, glassware, gift baskets and gift certificates.

"A lot of people are still coming in with things. Tons of businesses and individuals have stepped in to help. It's been overwhelming," Vickerman said. "If you have something, bring it into the city office."

Joe and his friends enjoy playing the card game Huckley Buck, so there will be a tournament starting at 11:30 a.m. Registration will be at 11 a.m. and the entry is $10 per person.

Joe's good friend, Bucky Rogers will be making and selling his famous lefse during the benefit.

Vickerman said Joe plans to attend the benefit as he has been feeling well enough to get out here and there.

She encourages everyone in the community to get out and show their support.

"You don't have to come and participate in the tournaments, because we also have food, lefse, bar, silent auction - there really is something for everyone," Vickerman said.

The library book fair will be going on at the same time, so there's something to interest the kids. There will also be a farmer's market plant sale that day.

Proceeds from the Lanesboro American Legion Fish Fry on Saturday, Nov. 17, will also be donated to the benefit. The fish fry is held from 5 to 7 p.m. or until sold out.

Donations can be brought to the city office and an account has been set up at Associated Bank. People with questions about the benefit are welcome to email Michele Peterson at or call the city at (507) 467-3722.