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Blessed Sacrament benefit supporting Reiter family

Olga Reiter has been a parishioner at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in West Fargo for 61 years helping out wherever and whenever she could. She joined immediately after arriving with her family from Dickinson in 1952.

Now church members are taking her under their wing and giving back by way of a special benefit event for her son, Bruce Reiter, who was diagnosed with stage four throat cancer in early October. With the loss of work and the extensive medical treatment that has ensued Bruce, and his wife Debbie have incurred substantial expenses and proceeds from the benefit will go toward helping lift that burden.

Bruce is a lifelong resident, who attended West Fargo Schools and became employed in the drywall business, first at G&M Drywall and Lathing for 21 years; and more recently at Stephenson Drywall And Lathing in Moorhead where he spent the last year-and-a-half. His wife Debbie is employed in the banquet department at the Fargo Holiday Inn. They have a daughter Amy married to Donald Journey, and a granddaughter Miranda age 6.

Since his diagnosis Bruce has been undergoing treatment at Roger Maris Cancer Center in Fargo that began with a radical neck dissection, followed by chemotherapy and radiation both recently concluded. The good news is that a Pet Scan May 6 revealed Bruce is in remission with additional testing in three months time.

Debbie said the goal right now is for Bruce to get his teeth back (they were removed during the first surgery) and be able to eat regular food again. On a second note, he'd also like to return to work soon.

He'd also like to return to doing some of the things he used to enjoy -- like fishing, spending quality time with his granddaughter, and his dog Ruby.

The fundraiser, which will feature a Spaghetti Feed, Silent Auction, Bake Sale, will be held Friday, May 17 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Blessed Sacrament, 210 5th Ave. W.

According to Olga, the evening definitely promises to be a family affair with as many as possible planning to attend. Bruce has four sisters and two brothers: Shirley Reiter and Tammy Sandvig, both West Fargo; Kathy Onsum Fargo, Beverly Robotkay, Anchorage, Alaska; Greg, West Fargo, and Darrel, who just recently moved to Loon Lake at Vergas from West Fargo.

Olga herself was the youngest in a family of eight where the importance of family values was always driven home.

Olga said her two sisters -- who also happen to be Bruce's favorite aunts, 102-year old Katherine Logasz from Dickinson and Betty Senchuck of Yorktown, won't be able to attend but have been sending their well-wishes. They both call often to see how Bruce is doing.

There will also be many friends in attendance for great food, great conversation, and excellent silent auction items among them: a four night-stay at the Mariott Inn in Moorhead; four gift baskets complete with wine and glasses from the Fargo Holiday Inn and Happy Harry's; a Craftsman Tool Kit, an NDSU football signed by the 2013 team; a microwave, and $150 aquarium, just to name a few.

Olga said that all the bake sale items are being generously donated by members of Blessed Sacrament Parish.

On that note, Olga said the family is extremely appreciative to all the church members and all their friends who are helping in any way to organize and carry out the event.

"I am so excited. It is just unbelievable that this is happening," Olga stated. "It is so heartwarming to know that people care so much. They just took right over. It is so wonderful what the church is doing and we really do appreciate everything "

Free will donations will be accepted at the benefit. Donations can also be dropped off or mailed to: Bruce Reiter Benefit Fund, Gate City Bank, 1119 9th St. E., West Fargo, N.D. 58078; or made online at:, click on donate, and enter gift amount next to the Bruce Reiter Benefit Fun. DMF Lend a Hand will be providing up to $5000 of matching funds.

a Hand will be providing up to $5000 of matching funds.