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GYRIG team raises funds and awareness in media

GYRIGteamraises1Wilson’s Warriors, A Get Your Rear in Gear fundraising team which honors the memory of Jennifer Wilson, has raised over $35,000 in the three years the group has been together. They have also gained significant media attention which helps bring awareness to the importance of colon cancer screening.

The efforts of Wilson’s Warriors were recently highlighted in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. In an article titled “Gaining by Giving“, the team is pictured at this year’s Twin Cities Get Your Rear in Gear 5K Run/Walk, where they turned out in significant numbers to raise funds and awareness for colon cancer. The article discussed the importance of workplace volunteerism and included an interview with Doug Cole, the founder and CEO of Cole’s Salon, where Jennifer Wilson was a vice president and where many Wilson’s Warriors team members are employed. Cole explained his commitment to his employees’ charitable endeavors. “We have 300 people representing us. The customer is king. We care about them, their causes and these communities.” The salon chain was recently recognized by the Star Tribune as a “Top 100 Workplace” for their training center, which was run by Jennifer.

Team members Theresa Warner and Jamie Chapman were also featured in a recent issue of the Farmington Independent for their work organizing the second annual Wilson’s Warriors beer bash which raised additional funds for the Colon Cancer Coalition. As a result of their efforts, Chapman and Warner were named the 2010 Team Ambassadors for the Twin Cities Get Your Rear in Gear 5K in Edina, Minnesota.

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Wilson’s Warriors organizers Jamie Chapman and Theresa Warner

While the funds raised by the team will go to support colon cancer screening and treatment programs, including the Minnesota Department of Health Sage Scopes Screening Program, the media attention gained by these organizers raises awareness of the disease. This crucial media attention helps to bring key health issues out of the dark and into peoples’ homes. By educating the community, Wilson’s Warriors and the Colon Cancer Coalition hope to increase screening rates in Minnesota and across the country.

Sadly, the team suffered another loss with the recent passing of Ken Kuchera to colon cancer.  Kuchera was the father of Theresa Warner, and longtime Farmington Minnesota Fire Chief.