Special benefit set Friday to lend support: Jacobson has strong community ties
If a positive attitude has healing power then Mike Jacobson is equipped with plenty of medicine in his fight against lung cancer. “Stage four is kind of drastic, but it’s just a number,” he said about his recent diagnosis. “I’m going to beat this anyway, so don’t worry about it.”
To assist with this battle and the mounting medical expenses, family and friends are hosting a special benefit in Jacobson’s honor on Friday, May 10 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the West Fargo VFW, 302 Sheyenne St. The event will feature a Taco Bar, Silent Auction, Bake Sale and Raffle.
Jacobson has had almost a lifelong West Fargo connection and is known by many in the community. He moved here with his family when he was five; attended West Fargo schools, graduating from WF High School in 1966; and from Moorhead State College in 1970 with a double major in elementary education and special education. He has four grown children that were also raised in West Fargo and remain in the community including: Brad, Zondra and Brian, and Brandon, who now lives in Horace. He also has five grandchildren.
Jacobson was a familiar face for 19 years as general manager of what used to be West Fargo’s premiere dining and dance venue, the old Hi-Ten Restaurant located on the west edge of town. Then he worked jointly part-time at the Teamsters Lounge in Fargo for 8 ½ years as a bartender, establishing their sound bingo program and monthly steak fry; as well as for Instant Gaming. In 1992 he went to work at the Harwood American Legion as general manager then started up Mike’s Catering in 1996, working the two together. In addition he was driving school bus 400 miles a day for southeast special education.
In 2007 his sister and brother-in-law, Peggy and Bruce Kringlie, purchased the Speedway Restaurant and Events Center in West Fargo and he joined them by incorporating Mike’s Catering into the business spending three years there.
Tucked in between all this activity were only two brief hiatuses. Jacobson noted that he didn’t “know how to punch a time clock until November of last year” when he went to work at the Golden Ridge Living Center in Moorhead, where he was responsible for preparing the morning meals. At the same time, he worked at Hagges Bar and Grill in Mapleton, employed at both places until March at which time his diagnosis forced him to relinquish those duties.
Jacobson continues to reside in West Fargo where he now makes his home with his mom, Eileen Veitch, who he affectionately identifies a “the new Kroll’s lady.” He jokes that they’ve pretty much come full circle -- they used to take care of each other but now she is his caregiver.
He is presently undergoing treatment at the Roger Maris Cancer Center in Fargo and has one chemotherapy session under his belt. Jacobson is optimistic and intent upon his mission to conquer his cancer. “I am always upbeat. That never changes even when they give you the long story short (his diagnosis). We even humored through that,” he stated.
Jacobson has only praise for the care he’s received. “I went to Sanford and I only have good to say. They took excellent care of me, in fact, I think a couple of the nurses are coming to the benefit. I told them if you come I’ll buy you a drink,” he chuckled.
As for the benefit, he is most appreciative, but humble guy that he is, admits at first he was a little put out. “I am usually the one at the other end, giving, getting it lined up. I said I didn’t need this, but others told me I did. So I’ve gotten a little bit over it. Otherwise, I am good, humble. I like to be the one behind things. Now they won’t let me make the food or do anything so I will just be there and really enjoy it.”
Jacobson said he is amazed at all the donations that are coming in for the silent auction and raffle. “They are just astronomical. I’ve never seen that much stuff, there will definitely be a lot to bid on.”
Among the raffle items will be a necklace valued at $1500; a UND hockey jersey signed by players; an NDSU football helmet in a case, also signed by players; a motorized scooter with a cooler valued at $450; and a basketball hoop.
Jacobson said he is both overwhelmed and amazed at the outpouring of generosity and support.
“I used to know everybody in town. Now I don’t even know some of these people. It really is a wonderful feeling to think so many want to help out. West Fargo has been my home for the past 60 years and I have created many, many friendships. I am very grateful to have the love and support of my family and friends during this difficult time. I am truly blest.”
The fundraiser Friday night, which will take place in the lower level of the VFW, is open to all ages wishing to attend.
Those unable to be there but who would still like to help can do so by making cash or check donations payable to Western State Bank ℅ the Mike Jacobson Benefit Fund, 755 13th Ave. E., West Fargo, ND 58078. Online donations can also be made to: www.dakmed.org/lendahan click donate and enter gift for the fund benefitting Mike Jacobson.