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Mickey’s Hope team holds poker run Saturday, Feb. 8

When Mickey O’Connor was diagnosed with breast cancer, the word “Hope” and its strong meaning became a central part of her existence. There were signs, plaques and vases with that word on them throughout her home.

The active Hastings community volunteer was a breast cancer survivor for 13 years. But in 2008, she died from the disease.

The hope for a cure continues, and very much so with her children Mike, Maureen and Patrick. In 2004, when their mother was still alive – she participated in several – they formed Mickey’s Hope, a team of walkers, and began to be involved in the 3-Day Walk each August. All net proceeds benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure and National Philanthropic Trust, funding important breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment.

The Mickey’s Hope Team is preparing for this year’s walk by beginning their fundraising efforts Saturday, Feb. 8, with a poker run. The registration will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Hastings American Legion, 50 Sibley St. Joining the American Legion in the fundraiser are The Onion Grille, The Busted Nut and The Second Street Depot, all in the downtown area. It concludes at 5:30 p.m. with the winner announced at 6 p.m. A meat raffle will be held at the Depot and there will be door prize drawings during the afternoon.

The fee is $20 per hand to play.

Members of Mickey’s Hope team include her children, grandchildren and other family members. Each must raise $2,300 to participate in the walk.

Their effort begins this week.

“I can’t imagine not being part of the walk,” said daughter Maureen Budach. “We are committed to doing it and now I do it for my daughters.”

Mickey’s Hope is seeking additional team members and if interested, people can contact Budach at: maureenbudach@

Anyone interested in making a donation can visit and click on “Donate.”