Rubber Chicken Scratchings: Just who, pray tell, is this Lori Rasmussen character?So a bunch of us are getting together and having a benefit on Sunday for our friend, Lori Rasmussen. … What, you don’t know Lori? Well, she is deserving of this benefit, believe me.
By: Brian Matuszak, Budgeteer News
So a bunch of us are getting together and having a benefit on Sunday for our friend, Lori Rasmussen. … What, you don’t know Lori? Well, she is deserving of this benefit, believe me.
A lot of people think so, including the NCAA-dominating Lady Bulldogs hockey team from UMD, which will be attending this benefit the day before they travel to Washington and meet with President Obama. That should tell you something about Lori right there. I’m sure the Bulldogs have a ton of stuff they need to be doing to prepare for that important trip, but they’re taking some time on Sunday to help out a friend in need. And they’re not the only ones.
If you listened to 92.1 FM in the ’90s, you would recognize Lori’s voice as that of Lori Lynn, playing all the hits every weekday between Pat Kelly in the morning and Todd Ryen’s “Drive Home” in the late afternoon. That voice is a little weaker now, but the vibrant personality is still going strong.
Lori and I started at the radio station at the same time — I was heading up commercial production and she was an on-air talent (fancy industry talk for “DJ”) — and we got to know each other pretty well, forging the bond that develops between people who share that “newbie” experience in the workplace.
We filled out those wacky W-2s together. We determined the most expensive drink on the menu, and then promptly ordered five of them each at the first, and last, annual Christmas party’s open bar. We endured the ceremonial rookie hazing rituals, which included shining Pat Kelly’s head during the top-of-the-hour break. After I left the radio station to pursue other opportunities, Lori stayed on for a few more years and we remained friends.
Over the years, Lori has become an even closer friend to my wife, Sue, and their relationship really came into focus last May when Lori received the news about the cancer. Since that day, Lori has been battling more obstacles than any person should have to endure, and Sue has been there to help in any way she can — from driving her to doctor appointments to making sure her cat, Puss Puss, is being fed and the litter box is scooped. It’s what you do when a friend needs you.
It’s what you do.
Like Sue, other friends have gone above and beyond as well. Merry and Mark have been there since Day 1, doing what needs to be done, and Lori’s friends Kim, Dan, Sharon and Becca are doing a load of work organizing the benefit. Sure, there have been difficult days of juggling schedules and cutting short vacation plans, but everyone realizes that those things can wait a bit. There’s always next summer. This year, a friend called and these folks answered.
It’s what you do.
Donations from WDIO, Ann Klefstad, Marshall Hardware, the East End McDonald’s in Superior, the UMD Lady Bulldogs, the Green Bay Packers, the Minnesota Twins, the Minnesota Vikings, Grizzly’s, Super One and many, many more have been pouring in. Most of these folks don’t know Lori personally, but they do realize that when someone in the community has a friend in need, it just makes sense to help.
Why? It’s what you do.
Lori’s benefit is going to be a good time for a great cause. We have little to no experience in organizing and running a benefit (which is actually a good thing, when you think about it), but it will be a ton of fun and we hope you can make it.
Our fatigue will soon be replaced with the energy of a new day and of a challenge met. Unfortunately, it won’t end Lori’s battles, but it will help her deal with some of them. The financial aspect of the benefit will have a tangible, practical result — and will be much appreciated — but when Lori sees and hears from all the people on Sunday who wish her well, who care for her deeply, I’m betting that will have a longer-lasting impact on her. It will push her to battle on and do what’s necessary to get better. That’s the real benefit to our benefit.
If you want to come have fun with us on Sunday, here are the particulars: The benefit will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Billings Park Civic Center in Superior, 3903 N. 18th St. A spaghetti dinner will be followed by a Rubber Chicken Theater performance. Cost is $10 for adults, $6 for ages 4-12 and free for those 3 and younger. (Call 343-3933 for additional information.)
Donations can also be sent to Superior Choice Credit Union, 2817 Tower Ave. Checks should be made out to “Benefit for Lori Rasmussen.”
Get better soon, Lori: PK’s head needs a new coat of wax.
Brian Matuszak has been difficult and demanding since February 2008. He is the co-founder of Renegade Comedy Theatre and founder of Rubber Chicken Theater. He also misses his radio days.