Roger and Lisa Askelson are looking forward to being surrounded by their grandchildren as well as lots of other family and friends who are making the trip to Cut Bank for a fundraiser to help defray Roger’s medical and travel expenses.

(Editor's Note: Due to the overwhelming response, Josh Larson informed us the location of the benefit has been moved to the Joe Meagher Memorial Civic Center. The family appreciates all the support and are so thankful to everyone.)

“It is pretty overwhelming and amazing,” said Josh Larson. Josh is referring to the incredible response he and his fellow organizers have received as they planned the upcoming fundraiser for Josh’s stepdad and his mom, Roger and Lisa Askelson.

“Earlier this spring, Roger was diagnosed with stage four cancer of his esophagus. He is undergoing chemotherapy treatment, taking three days of treatment down in Billings, having 10 days off and starting it all over again. He has already undergone radiation therapy,” explained Josh. “With all the medical bills and travel they are doing, we thought we could help with some of those expenses by holding a fundraiser for Roger.”

Once they put the wheels in motion for the fundraiser, the outpouring of support and donations has been amazing, Josh said. 

“We started out just doing a raffle for some guns and now we are raffling off so much more and even holding a silent auction too,” he shared.

The fundraiser for the raffle is just part of what is being organized for the Askelson’s. Here are the details on the raffle.

Raffle tickets are for sale and will be for sale up to the drawing date, which will take place on Friday, Oct. 1. Tickets are $5 each or six for $25. You can get your tickets at Northern Ford, BJ’s Casino or The Den. You can also call Josh at 406-391-7056 or Steve Larson at 406-949-2812 to buy tickets. 

Six of the raffle ticket items are some amazing guns, three of which are rifles, there is also one shot gun, one pistol and one revolver. “We have so many other items to raffle off too. There are just too many items to list, but the guns were what we started with for the raffle and probably, one of the most popular items for the raffle too,” said Josh. 

On Friday, Oct. 1 at the Joe Meagher Memorial Civic Center, starting right after the homecoming parade around 3 p.m., the benefit will begin starting with raffle ticket drawings that will continue through the evening. That is also the evening the silent auction will take place too.

“We will be serving a meal that evening at the Civic Center and will be charging $5 a plate. We will start serving at around 4 p.m. and serve until its gone,” Josh said. 

The details on the meal are still being worked out, but it is a guarantee, it will be delicious.

“There have been so many people wanting to make donations to the silent auction and we are really happy to continue to receive those,” Josh said. 

“You can drop them off at BJ’s or use the cell phone numbers for either myself or my dad (Steve Larson) and we can arrange a pick-up. We will take donations for auction items right up to the day of the event,” he shared.

If you are not able to attend the Oct. 1 night of fun and drawings, but still want to make a donation, Josh said there is an account set up at Stockman Bank under Roger Askelson Benefit where you can make your donation. 

Along with the guns, Josh said they will be raffling off a TV, Blackstone grill and a Griz football weekend. “We have so many wonderful items, so once we get those all sorted out for the raffle and the silent auction, we will post more of that information on my Facebook page. Our main goal now is to sell as many tickets as we can and so far, we are doing great with that.”

Whatever monies the fundraising collects from this fun event, Josh said they will be giving all of that to the Askelson’s to help defray some of the medical costs they are incurring as well as help with the travel costs, they have for all the trips to Billings. 

“It truly is overwhelming the support we are getting for this event. It speaks so well about Roger and Lisa and what assets they have been and continue to be to this community,” Josh said. “I would like to thank everyone who has helped with this, including my dad, my sisters and brothers, Jenny Paulson, Leni Sabo, Reid Askelson, Ryan Askelson and so many, many others. We hope to see everyone on Oct. 1!”

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