Women You Should Know: Minot Curling Club

3 mins read
Minot Curling Club Large Group Picture

By Arielle Windham
Empowered by Ladyboss Lifestyle

Minot Women Organize Fundraiser With Midwest Flair

Kae Watson was diagnosed with breast cancer in February of 2020. “Nobody ever wants to hear those words,” Watson said. Quick action on her part, and that of the doctors at Bismarck Cancer Center, meant Watson’s cancer battle was shorter than most, but it still left lasting scars.

“I was lucky,” Watson said. “I didn’t have a difficult diagnosis. But it still took a toll on my mental health. I wanted to find a purpose for the pain.”

Watson didn’t just want to be a survivor. She wanted to help other women in her community.

“Insurance only covers the medical costs of a cancer diagnosis,” Watson said. “For those of us living in rural areas, it doesn’t cover hotels, gas, or other travel expenses. That portion of the financial burden, which can be up to 40% of the overall cost, falls squarely on the patient and their family. We wanted to help lessen the financial burden, as well as the emotional one, for other women in our community.”

During a curling bonspiel, she slid out the idea of a “Curling for the Cure” fundraiser to not only raise funds for breast cancer patients but to bring together women from across the region in sisterhood and solidarity.

Minot Curling Club Group Photo
Curling for the Cure committee. Pictured (Left to Right): Lisa Loeffler, Brit Taciuk, Kit Christiansen, Kae Watson, Chandra DeCent, Sarah Thorson. Not pictured, Roseanne Schaefer

Curling for the Cure

On the Button

It was early 2021. The game had just ended between Minot’s only two women’s curling teams. The eight women were swapping stories at the Minot Curling Club. Watson had received a clean bill of health from her oncologist the previous May.

Like an expert curling release, the idea glided through the group, gaining momentum. Before the round was over, plans for the first “Curling for the Cure” Bonspiel were underway.

“It’s other women who hold you up when you get a breast cancer diagnosis,” Watson said. “We wanted to do something to help take care of our sisters, aunts, mothers, and neighbors when they needed it most.”

The Fourth End

Kae Watson, Sarah Thorson, Brittany Taciuk, Lisa Loeffler, Rosanne Schaefer, Chanda DeCent, Norma Boles, and Kit Christensen organized the first event in just three weeks.

Since there weren’t enough women’s teams in Minot for a full bonspiel bracket, the group used the event as a fundraiser and an opportunity to recruit more female curlers. It was a success on both counts, raising $2,500 and helping the club field four more women’s teams.

Now, four years in, the event has become an international affair, bringing female curling teams from Canada, Minnesota, and across the Dakotas to Minot. 12 teams, 48 women, competed in January 2024, raising $11,500 for women with breast cancer in western North Dakota—a total of $28,000 over the life of the event.

But while the actual competition is just for female athletes, the rest of the Minot community comes together to support the cause. The club’s male members maintain the ice, serve food, and otherwise help keep the tournament running smoothly. The wider community stops by to cheer on the competitors and bid on silent auction items.

Funds are divided between Trinity Health in Minot and the Bismarck Cancer Center, earmarked for their patient care endowments, which help cover costs outside the scope of insurance.

“There are definitely deserving national organizations,” said Sharah Thorson, “but it was important to us that the money remains local. We have access to great cancer facilities here in the Dakotas. We wanted to support these facilities and the local women they serve.”

Minot Curling Club Event
Pictured (Left to Right): Nicki Broadway, Kae Watson, Jaime Watson, Paige Robillard, Allie Anderson, Verla Geinert, Kayla Welsh, Carla Robillard.

Advancing to the Next Round

With the 2024 event concluded, the committee is already looking forward to January 2025. The “Curling for the Cure” Bonspiel is on the calendar for the last weekend in January at Minot Curling Club. You can keep up with event announcements, including the theme and registration deadlines, on the group’s Facebook page.

The group is hoping for a few more women’s curling teams to participate in the competition. The event is also open to the public for those just wanting to join in the community and support a good cause.

“We are the largest ‘Curling for the Cure’ event in the United States,” Watson said. “It’s such a humbling experience to be part of this great group of women.”

If you are looking for financial or emotional support with a breast cancer diagnosis, check out these additional resources for local and national organizations. You aren’t fighting alone.

Additional Resources


bismarckcancercenter.com/ services/financial-assistance

komen.org/support-resources/ support/support-groups


Minot Curling Club

Facebook | /MinotCurlingClub
2005 E Burdick Expy, Minot, ND 58701