'My Name is Dave' | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

'My Name is Dave'

Saatoff memorial emphasizes how cancer can strike anyone

Posted: November 13, 2012 - 9:58pm

Organizers of Saturday’s “My Name is Dave” benefit hope to raise money as well as promote Dave Saatoff’s realization that no one is immune to cancer.

Saatoff, a Consolidated Telecommunications Co. (CTC) product engineer, died Oct. 25 after a battle with brain cancer. His co-worker, Kristi Westbrock, director of human resources and operations at CTC, said he was a 52-year-old with a good job and a great family.

After he was diagnosed with cancer in June and before he encountered extreme difficulty communicating, Westbrock said Saatoff wanted people to realize that his illness could happen to anyone.

“His message was ‘We’re all Dave,’” she said.

The fundraiser is from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Arrowwood Lodge (formerly The Lodge) in Baxter. The fundraiser is open to everyone at no cost but specific invitation is going out to people named Dave who will be given a “My Name is Dave” button and be allowed to sign up for a drawing for gas cards worth $50, $100 and $200.

The fundraiser is being organized by fellow workers at CTC, the Brainerd Family YMCA, Kixter parents and other close friends.

There is no cost unless participants wish to have dinner at the event.

Dinner tickets are available in advance and will be available at the door. Dinner will be served from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday and tickets are $20 per person or $30 at the door. Dinner tickets are sold at CTC in Brainerd and Baxter, Christmas Point, the Brained Family YMCA and Cascade Medspa. Cash donations are accepted at US Bank locations for the Dave Saatoff Fund.

The event will include a silent auction and a live auction with such donated items as a Lake Tahoe vacation, sporting tickets, a wine rack, a wheelbarrow full of libations, shotguns and other donated prizes.

All of the money raised will go to help his family with the medical expenses.

Among Saatoff’s survivors are his wife, Natalie; a son, Joshua David Saatoff, Seattle; and a daughter, Elizabeth Noel Saatoff, Brainerd.

Saatoff had worked at CTC for six years and also worked at Gander Mountain.

More information may be obtained by searching “Dave Saatoff Benefit” on Facebook. Information may also be obtained by calling 454-DAVE (3283).

Westbrock said Saatoff was a super character person with high values, who never wavered through his ordeal.

“He always had a great story to tell,” she said.

Active in his church, Saatoff was helping to start an Optimist’s Club and had been a Just For Kix dad.

“He was just a bright soul,” she said.

MIKE O’ROURKE, associate editor, may be reached at 855-5860 or mike.orourke@brainerddispatch.com. He may be followed at www.twitter.com/MikeORourkenews.