A cancer diagnosis not only affects one person, but family, friends and sometimes an entire community. That's why hundreds of people gathered at a pub in Wisconsin Rapids this weekend. The goal was to raise money for breast cancer research. But people who took part say, what they got out of it is so much more.
Ready, aim, and shoot for a cure. This weekend marked the 12th annual "Shoot for a Cure" pool tournament at Goose's Pub in Wisconsin Rapids.
"There's so much heart in all of these ladies. It's wonderful," Tournament Director Doris Laskowski said.
It all started 12 years ago. Doris and her sister-in-law Peggy, came up with the idea to raise money for breast cancer research.
"Peggy was a breast cancer survivor and her mother passed away from breast cancer so it was her idea," Laskowski explained.
And as the years have passed, organizers say the way the event has grown is overwhelming.
"This community really rallies around this. There is so much cancer out there and it affects all of us, every lady that's here, that's why they're here," Laskowski said.
This year, 144 sharp shooters took to the tables for the two day event. Traci Altier was one of them.
"We have to beat this battle. We need the funds and the research and the great doctors to find that cure that we need," Altier said.
Many of the players have been affected by breast cancer in some way. Some are proud survivors, while others play to support a loved one.
"Every woman has a place in her heart for this," Altier said.
Altier says she's shooting for those she's lost.
"My aunt, who is recently deceased, had her bouts with cancer and she finally lost her battle about a year ago so it is near and dear to my heart."
Others say the event helps them focus on what's important.
"It just kind of brings everything back to what it is. You're here for that reason, to help that person survive," Laskowski said.
In its 12 year history organizers say the event has raised more than a quarter of a million dollars. All the money raised stays in Central Wisconsin helping fund breast cancer research at Marshfield Clinic.
A way to give back and keep fighting for a cure.