Like almost everyone, Dale Himstedt, an Illinois farmer and drainage contractor, has been affected by the cruelty of cancer.
He was inspired by the efforts of Springfield Plastics, which has raised more than $400,000 in their Drain for a Cure effort over the last eight years. The company matches up to $30,000 in donations that go to Simmons Cancer Institute at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield.
Springfield Plastics is Himstedt’s tile supplier, and for years he has been contributing to their annual effort.
This year the Morrisonville, Illinois, farmer and businessman decided he wanted to help even more.
His twist on Drain for a Cure is Grain for a Cure, and he asked farmers to give a “splash of grain” this fall.
One of his daughters helped design a large pink banner to advertise the cause on the side of a grain cart and an antique wagon he received as payment from a customer.
The first customer he introduced the idea to explained that he had battled cancer in high school and was ready to help.
“I’m on board,” the customer said. It energized Himstedt.
The generosity of this donor and others “shocked me,” Himstedt said. Many elevators and other ag businesses helped.
He was talked into getting a Facebook page for the first time to promote the fundraising effort, so the D & H Drainage Facebook page was born to post about the Drain for a Cure effort. The latest tally on the site shows Himstedt and his team have raised more than $12,400 in their first year’s effort.
He hopes to run the campaign again next harvest season.