Benefit dinner to be hosted in support of Sister Lakes man battling cancer

Published 10:18 am Thursday, January 6, 2022

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SISTER LAKES — For nearly 30 years, Sister Lakes resident Lance Rogalski supported his community by serving at the Sister Lakes Fire Department.

“I’ve always just gotten a good feeling out of helping people,” Rogalski, 52, said. “It’s in my blood. My parents did it, and I’ve always enjoyed doing it and helping. I like the excitement.”

Now, after Rogalski was diagnosed with stage three cancer, the community is turning out to support him.

From 2 to 8 p.m. Jan. 30, a benefit dinner will be hosted in Rogalski’s honor at Ramona Roller Rink, 93103 County Road 690, Dowagiac. The event, which will accept open donation offerings, will feature food, drinks, door prizes, a raffle and roller skating. The meal will consist of pulled pork, chili and sides by donation, with curbside service available. Money raised from the event will go to support costs associated with Rogalski’s medical treatment.

“I’ve known [Lance] for probably about eight years, and he is a good guy. He’s always helping people out and doing stuff for everybody,” said Rogalski’s friend Cody Wieand, who is helping to organize the benefit. “I thought this was a good opportunity to help him back because I know he is too stubborn to ask for help. He is the type of guy who would continue to bust his butt to support his family throughout his treatment because that is the type of guy he is. What I’m trying to do is ease some of that burden off of him, so he can focus on healing.”

So far, Wieand said the community has shown its support for Rogalski and the benefit event. Since first posting about the event Tuesday morning, Wieand said his phone has been ringing nonstop with offers of help from local businesses and encouragement from community organizations and individuals. Both the Sister Lakes and Dowagiac fire departments have posted about the event on social media asking the community to support Rogalski in his recovery.

Wieand hopes to see that community support continue as the event draws closer and said he encourages community members to attend both to raise funds for Rogalski’s treatment and to have a fun-filled evening.

“I want this to feel like a celebration,” he said. “I want this to be a situation that says, ‘we are supporting you through this process on the way to your victory.’ This is not a last meal; it’s a celebration.”

Rogalski said he is honored that the community could come out to support him through the benefit and through a GoFundMe page, which has been set up in his honor.

“It’s an awesome feeling,” he said. “I can’t get over the outpouring of support. I feel like the word just got out, and it’s spreading like wildfire. It’s amazing, really.”

For more information, contact Wieand at (269) 208-9366.

To donate to the GoFundMe, visit and search “Help Lance and His Family through Cancer.”