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Washington Voices

Trike races help cancer organizations

Thu., June 9, 2011

Bill Heitner was just stopping in for a beer on his way home from work a couple of years ago. He had just moved to the Minnehaha neighborhood, and a friend suggested he stop at Big Sky’s Tavern on Market Street. Heitner instantly liked the place, and he really liked the ongoing fundraising Big Sky’s was doing to help cancer organizations.

“My sister Anne Heitner died from cancer, so it was kind of funny that this was the tavern I walked into,” said Heitner. Anne Heitner was a staff artist for The Spokesman-Review, where she drew caricatures and made illustrations until she got sick. She died in 1996 at age 46.

“There is not a person out there who doesn’t have a family member or friend who’s been touched by cancer,” said Heitner, who decided on the spot to join the fundraising efforts at Big Sky’s. “I like that they do this all year long.”

This will be the 10th year the tavern has held the trike races, which have become legendary in Hillyard and include raffles, drawings, music and food. Last year the event raised $5,260.

“It’s an adult affair. You must be 21 to race, but it’s really fun,” said Heitner, who’s just one of many volunteers. “It’s a great event.”

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