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Horsing around to help
IGEMS student raises money for former publisher of The Journal
Thirteen riders (above) pose for a photo at the March 16 Ranch Roping Fundraiser to benefit Dick Brockman. Lane Shemak, 11 of Cobb (center) had the idea to host the roping to raise funds for his teacher, Kathy Brockman, the wife of long-time Platteville Journal publisher Dick Brockman.

“No one fights alone!” was imprinted on the multicolored rubber bracelets found on every wrist in the room Saturday night.

Dick Brockman does not fight alone. He has an 11-year-old boy fighting with him.

The bracelets were sold at a Roping Fundraiser Benefit at S Reverse S Arena in Arena Saturday.

Lane Shemak, 11, of Cobb, wanted to host the fundraiser, but didn’t know his parents and family friends had organized the event to happen the day before his 11th birthday.

Lane came up with the event to benefit Brockman, the husband of his fifth-grade teacher, Kathy Brockman. Dick has been fighting prostate cancer. (See “A contributor in ways most people didn’t know,” The Platteville Journal, Dec. 26, 2012.)

“When we found out that Mrs. Brockman would be taking a leave of absence, Lane and I were talking and he told me he wanted to help her somehow,” said Jodi Shemak, Lane’s mother. “He had two ideas — one was to train a pony and sell it to give the money to the Brockmans, and the other was to have a roping fundraiser and donate the proceeds to the Brockmans.”

The event featured a ranch roping, silent auction, food stand and bake sale, 50/50 raffle, and rubber bracelets for sale.
Those in attendance helped raise $2,499 for the Brockman Family.

There were approximately 68 silent auction donations from many area businesses. The auction raised $1,260.
The Shemak family received $395 in donations from private parties, including Iowa–Grant Elementary Middle School, where Kathy Brockman teaches, and Wendy Woldt of Sturgeon Bay.

“It would not have been possible without the generous monetary and silent auction donations,” said Shemak. “We will be forever grateful for helping us show Lane that one person can truly make a difference!”

The roping raised $285, and the 50/50 raffle raised $228 with the winnings donated back. The food stand and bake sale raised $291. The food was all donated and prepared by the Morgan–Graedel family of Mazomanie.

“Lane could not believe the amount of money raised Saturday night, he was hoping to raise $1,000,” said Jodi. “He was so overwhelmed by the generosity showed for the cause so close to his heart.”

Lane is also training a 2-year-old filly pony to sell to benefit the Brockman family. Lane got the pony from his grandfather, Paul Shemak.

“Lane spends every night that he can” with his pony,” said Jodi. “He spends time with her, leading, saddling, riding. He even has taught her to be a ‘mountain pony’ by going up and down the very large snow piles around the farm. He has put a lot of time into getting the pony ready to sell. He would love to sell the pony soon so he give the money to the Brockmans.”

Lane’s parents, Tim and Jodi, were somewhat surprised with their son’s generosity.

“We are so very proud of Lane and the thoughtfulness he has shown Mrs. Brockman,” said Jodi. “He always looks for ways to help others.”