Wieners For MS

Young Girl Raises Nearly $7,000 for MS Society with the Help of Oscar Mayer’s Wienermobile
By: Jimmy Osburn

If you ask Kelsey Krueger what her favorite part of the weekend was, you might expect her to respond with activities like hanging out with friends, shopping, or talking on the phone; typical answers for a day in the life of most 11-year-old girls. But after raising nearly $7,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, this was no ordinary day for the sixth-grader.

After being one of just 20 winners in Oscar Meyer’s “Win the Ride of Your Life” contest with her 100-word essay about multiple sclerosis – the contest had 75,000 entries –, Krueger was awarded a $5,000 donation to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and a visit from Oscar Mayer’s famous Wienermobile. Krueger, who attends Madison Elementary School, entered the contest during the summer after watching a TV commercial.

“I thought it was a good essay, but I didn’t really expect it to win,” says Krueger of her surprise at being named a winner.

In addition to the donation made from Oscar Mayer, Krueger decided to use her time with the Wienermobile to raise even more money for the MS society by capitalizing on the visit from the 27-foot-long vehicle shaped like a hot dog.

While neighbors and their children came out to catch a glimpse and take pictures, Krueger had an idea:

“I thought it would be a great idea to use the Wienermobile to sell hot dogs for MS Society,” says Krueger.

By selling franks and root beer floats for $1 each, as well as Wienerwhistles, bracelets, face painting, and donations – Krueger raised another $1,923.37.

Gordon Ross, along with his wife Melissa, brought his two sons out to see the Wienermobile up close and personal, and to take a few pictures.

“They like cars. And all I’ve ever seen of the Wienermobile was on TV commercials,” says Ross, a 42-year-old Electrolux employee.

Their son, 9-year-old Tyler Ross was smiling ear-to-ear while standing beside the Wienermobile, and the third-grader plans to e-mail pictures they took to relatives.

Raising money for a cause like multiple sclerosis appears to fit right in with what Oscar Mayer prides itself on: values.

Eyra Dzakuma, a 23-year-old with a bachelor’s degree in corporate communications from the University of Texas-Austin, was part of the Midwest trio from Oscar Mayer who drove the odd-looking vehicle to Minnesota and has a one-year contract to promote the company.

“Oscar Mayer is all about having fun and childlike innocence…and instilling those values in others every year,” said Dzakuma. “Most of the times that I can remember eating hot dogs and having fun is at stuff like family cook-outs, baseball games – things that are American traditions,” Dzakuma continued.

This isn’t the first time that Krueger has raised money for MS. Since 2003, she has raised $9,346.37. Her father, Loren Krueger, a 44-year-old salesman for Cold Spring Granite, was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease in 1998 and now gets around with the help of a motorized wheelchair praises his daughters efforts.

“I’m still surprised she won the contest but also at the drive she has. She’s always thinking of new ways to raise money,” he said.

Her mother, Teresa Krueger, a 44-old nurse at St. Cloud Hospital echoes his statement “We’re immensely proud of her,” she said.

At the end of the event, Krueger, who admits that she likes hot dogs but that isn’t really a fan of meat, was already thinking about her next fund-raiser, a used-book sale at the St. Cloud civic Center next weekend.

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