Updated: 04/29/2014 11:04 PM
Created: 04/29/2014 3:50 PM WDIO.com
Morgan Long is getting pumped up for prom. "My dress is getting hemmed," she told us on Monday. It's a beautiful gown, donated to her from Silver Rose in Cloquet.
Her date is a long-time family friend, who asked her to the big dance in a unique "promposal." He sent balloons shaped in the letters that formed the word PROM, flowers, and a request to take her to prom. This all arrived at her grandparents' home in Florida, where the Long family was visiting.
Morgan has never been to prom. "I was diagnosed with brain cancer at 17 months old, I'm 17 years old, and I've had six brain surgeries. It's been hard, but I keep pushing through, and keep smiling," she told us.
She and her family have been fighting cancer for so many years. They've had some help from the Northern Lights Foundation, in the form of a grant.
Molly Long, Morgan's mother, said going to medical appointments, taking time off of work, and the medical expense themselves make for a tight financial situation.
That's where the foundation comes into play. They award around $25,000 in grants each year, to families of children who are dealing with a life-threatening illness.
"We aim to ease some of the financial and emotional stress," said founder Dr. Ken Larson. He's a retired dentist, who saw a need for this type of organization back in 2006.
Events like the Guns n Hoses game between firefighters and police officers, as well as the Get More Cowbell musical fundraiser at Grandma's Sports Garden, generate the money for the foundation.
But this year, the Leadership Duluth Class of 2014 is putting on the First Annual Gala Dinner to benefit the foundation.
"I didn't know what the Northern Lights Foundation was, until now. It's great helping a new organization out, especially one that is focused on kids," explained Adam Traxler, who's part of Leadership Duluth.
The gala dinner is Friday night at the Greysolon Ballroom. Doors open at 5:30, and the event runs from 6-9pm. There are a limited number of tickets left, and you can get them at the door.
Molly Long and her husband Steve will be speaking at the event.
Please check out www.northernlightsfoundation.org for more information.
Dr. Larson said that they're always looking for other support too, beyond this dinner. They were able to help Morgan out with her prom experience, with a little extra help this year. It's all about making this time special for the Duluth teen, who's facing her 7th brain surgery in a few weeks. Her mother Molly told us it going to be a very serious, complicated surgery.
Licenses, Deer Population Down for Wisconsin Deer Opener
The Wisconsin firearm deer hunting tradition got off to a safe start as Department of Natural Resources officials said they had received no reports of accidental shootings or other injuries by mid-afternoon Sunday on the opener of the state's nine-day gun deer hunt....
MNsure Enrollments, Renewals Approach 8,000
Minnesota's health insurance exchange says it has enrolled nearly 8,000 Minnesotans in health plans in the first week of open enrollment this fall. The deadline for enrolling in coverage that takes effect Jan. 1 is Dec. 15.
Wisconsin Gun Deer Hunt Begins
The season opened as the sun rose Saturday and will run through Nov. 30. Forecasts for opening weekend called for freezing rain and fog with highs ranging from the upper 30s to the low 40s both days.
Superior Police: Officer's Use of Force Justified
The Superior Police Department says an internal investigation has found an officer's use of force was justified in an arrest seen on a controversial dashcam video. However, the officer was given a 10-hour unpaid suspension for "vulgar and unprofessional" communication during the arrest.
Johnston Investigation Concludes Five Allegations Substantiated
An investigation into allegations that a Duluth school board member threatened the district's superintendent and other board members concludes that five of six claims are warranted. A 67-page report details the allegations against school board member Art Johnston released to Eyewitness News on Friday.