March 5, 2007

Schoenfeld benefit to feature musical about David and Goliath

By Linda Scherer
Staff Writer

A first-ever musical performed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Lester Prairie, “The Rock Slinger and His Greatest Hit,” will be presented Sunday, March 18 as part of a benefit for Bonnie Schoenfeld, long-time Lester Prairie resident.

The benefit is to help cover out-of-pocket medical expenses for her recent treatment of leukemia.

In addition, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans will be donating $1 for every $2 raised for the evening.

Schoenfeld was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (AML) October 2006. She had no previous symptoms and did not have any family history of the disease.

Although she noticed some bruising and a little fatigue, she was not prepared when the doctor told her, “You have leukemia and we are sending you down to Fairview Southdale right now, so get your things together.”

“It was shocking. I couldn’t believe I had it,” Schoenfeld said. “I wanted to know, ‘why me?’”

Schoenfeld was at Fairview Southdale from Oct. 20 until Nov. 15 in isolation with other cancer patients. When she returned home in November, she was told that she was in remission.

That good news was followed by Schoenfeld having to go back in the hospital for another week over Thanksgiving because of an infection.

After recovering from the infection, it was another round of chemotherapy in December with three blood transfusions, and in January the same. According to Schoenfeld, all of the treatments are common with leukemia.

Today, Schoenfeld is at home. She is getting better every day.

“All of the cards, letters, and prayers have gotten me through this. There were a lot of prayer chains. I even got a card from a priest in Puerto Rico,” Schoenfeld said.

Monday, March 12, she will have her fourth bone marrow biopsy done. From that, they will be able to tell if she is completely cancer-free.

Schoenfeld family

Bonnie is from Elysian in southern Minnesota and her husband, Gaylen, is from Medford. They met at a roller rink in Waseca.

They have lived in Lester Prairie for 34 years, moving here so Gaylen could work at the fertilizer plant in Lester Prairie.

However, Gaylen changed jobs 29 years ago, and is currently driving semi for Dedicated Logistics out of Roseville. He is on the road from Sundays to Fridays.

Gaylen and Bonnie have three children, Eric, 33, Thomas, 29, and Kristina, 27.

They have a granddaughter, Adriana, daughter of Kristina. She is a first grader, who will be part of the musical. Schoenfeld takes care of Adriana before and after school, which she looks forward to.

Schoenfeld likes to sew, and she has a real green thumb when it comes to plants and flowers. She is definitely looking forward to spring and being outdoors in her garden.

When she is feeling better, she plans to help out at Holasek’s greenhouse, where she has worked in the past, for a total of six years. She is also planning to attend the Winsted Women’s Expo Saturday, April 14, where she will have a display of her soy candles and soap that she sells.

Schoenfeld is grateful for the upcoming Soup, Sandwich and Show benefit. She thinks it is a wonderful thing.

‘The Rock Slinger and His Greatest Hit’

The show, to be presented at St. Paul Lutheran Church Sunday, March 18, at 4 p.m., is a musical directed by Jane Holasek called “The Rock Slinger and His Greatest Hit,” the story of David and Goliath.

The musical will be presented by the children from grades one to eight, and Goliath will be played by Pastor Eric Nelson.

“I thought this would be a great way to involve the students in a service activity along with their performances,” Holasek said.

The service activity will include having the children and their families help with serving the meal, setup, and cleanup.

“This is our first full-fledged musical that we have done,” Holasek said. She is hoping the students performance will help make the evening’s fundraiser a successful one for Schoenfeld.

Holasek has worked with Schoenfeld on various church committees, vacation Bible school, Sunday school, and other community projects.

“Bonnie is a hard, hard worker,” Holasek said. “People in the community know her as someone that is always willing to help out. She’s one of the first ones to help others.”

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