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Band plays at Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk

Event holds connection close to community

Senior+Ethan+Rickert+stands+alongside+band+teacher+Steven+Schmidtz+during+one+of+their+warmups+at+the+Making+Strides+Against+Breast+Cancer+walk.+The+walk+took+place+Oct.+8.+at+the+U.S.+Bank+Stadium.+
Senior Ethan Rickert stands alongside band teacher Steven Schmidtz during one of their warmups at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. The walk took place Oct. 8. at the U.S. Bank Stadium.

Senior Ethan Rickert stands alongside band teacher Steven Schmidtz during one of their warmups at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. The walk took place Oct. 8. at the U.S. Bank Stadium.

Isaac Wahl

Isaac Wahl

Senior Ethan Rickert stands alongside band teacher Steven Schmidtz during one of their warmups at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. The walk took place Oct. 8. at the U.S. Bank Stadium.

Alex Balfour and Izzy Leviton

Surrounded by pink ribbons and a high energy atmosphere, senior Ethan Rickert, whose mother passed away from breast cancer last summer, felt a personal tie to the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk Oct. 7 at the U.S. Bank Stadium.

“I have to thank Making Strides Against Breast Cancer because they gave my mom a substantial amount (of money) and they kept us afloat for a while,” Rickert said.

According to band teacher Steve Schmitz, Rickert’s mother, Rachel Rickert, played a significant role in his decision to participate in the walk.  

“We had a band mom, beloved band mom, and friend of mine pass away in August and her two sons are in the program,” Schmidtz said. “Rachel was a big reason that I decided to say yes. I spoke to her when she was still with us in the spring and asked if we had her blessing and she was very for it.”

Rickert said the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk will raise money to help those suffering from breast cancer.

“(The walk) helps develop new treatment options and then access for people who cannot always buy their cancer treatments in full,” Rickert said.

Schmidtz said he joined the walk through a program called Real Men Wear Pink.

“(I joined through) this program called Real Men Wear Pink. It’s trying to get men a little more involved in breast cancer fundraising because it’s traditionally been women,” Schmidtz said.

According to Schmitz, the band played upbeat music to get the participants ready to walk.

“When we have a random mix of instrument and kids from all three different ability-based bands, the one commonality we have is that we play at athletic events,” Schmitz said. “We played pep band music because that’s what we know together and we wanted to amp up the crowd because we wanted to inspire them.”

Sophomore band member Chloe Richardson said although not all band members came to the event, it was a positive experience.

“We were originally supposed to have more people in the band, but not everyone could make it. (The band) was a

 little smaller than we were expecting, but we sounded good,” Richardson said. “Overall, it was a really cool experience. I was happy to support the fundraiser.”

Schmidtz said the band’s location allowed them to gain a lot of attention from the walk participants.

“We were right at the starting line so everyone noticed us, like thousands of people walking past, so positive public relations for St. Louis Park and the band program,” Schmidtz said. “We sounded really good there.”

According to Rickert, the band community has helped him and his family during this difficult time.

“The band has always been the top supportive thing at the high school for my brother and I. It has always been such a good environment,” Rickert said. “Schmitz has been so open-hearted and helpful through it all.”

Join a walk or donate to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

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Band plays at Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk