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Nita Killebrew visits Perham, raises awareness of hospice

Robert Williams/FOCUS Nita Killebrew, wife of Minnesota Twin Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, made a stop in Perham to raise awareness for hospice, a cause her husband championed during his lifetime. She toured Perham as a guest of KLN Family Brands and gave a short address to a large crowd at the turtle races, thanking everyone for their support of hospice.

Nita Killebrew, wife of Minnesota Twin Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, was in Perham last week, stopping by the turtle races to garner support for hospice, a cause her husband championed before passing away in 2011.

She got a tour of Perham as a guest of KLN Family Brands, and gave a short address about hospice to the large turtle race crowd.

“I had no idea turtle racing was this popular,” she told the crowd with a laugh.

The tour was a precursor to her main event of the summer: Harmon Killebrew Hospice Day, at Target Field in Minneapolis, held on Saturday. For this special event, Killebrew gave a brief presentation about hospice on the jumbo-tron during the Twins pre-game show, and then later in the game a one-of-a-kind Harmon Killebrew Harley Davidson Road King motorcycle was raffled off.

Killebrew teamed up with KLN, the Lakeland Hospice Foundation and the Minnesota Twins to honor her husband’s passion for hospice care with this special day at Target Field. After two near-death experiences, Harmon Killebrew found his calling in becoming a hospice volunteer and advocate. Nita now continues his legacy and love of hospice by sharing their story.

A total of 31 busses from all across west central Minnesota traveled to Target Field for Harmon Killebrew Hospice Day, including nearly 1,600 bus riders from Perham, Ottertail, Fergus Falls, Henning, Wadena and many other communities. 

Before arriving at Target Field to find their seats in the special designated hospice section of the upper deck, the riders stopped in Alexandria, Minn., for a tail-gating party with grilled burgers, chips and water. All proceeds from the lunch were donated to Lakeland Hospice Foundation. A few hundred more hospice ticketholders from the Twin Cities met up with the group at the field.

A group from Lakeland Hospice and LB Homes, the parent company of Lakeland Hospice, were featured on the jumbo-tron singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” with Killebrew and Twins Mascot TC Bear during the seventh inning stretch.

During the seventh inning, Killebrew drew the winning ticket for the motorcycle – Kevin Knutson, from Fergus Falls, was the winner. Killebrew was able to personally congratulate Knutson, as he was in attendance at the game, traveling on one of the group buses.

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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