by Dennis Dalman
Sartell postal workers are confident city residents will step up to the plate again and hit a home run for the fight against breast cancer.
Each year, October is the month the U.S. Postal Service and all of its branch offices, including the one in Sartell, promote sales of its “Breast Cancer” stamps. Sales of those stamps have raised almost $80 million for breast-cancer research since the stamps debuted in 1998. More than 950 million of the stamps have been sold to postal customers.
The Sartell Post Office has won multiple honors because of its records for sales.
“Sartell customers have traditionally been huge supporters of this cause,” said Terry Niehaus, Sartell postmaster.
Niehaus noted the post office was honored for top breast-cancer stamp sales in 2000, 2001 and 2011. It was quite the feat, considering Sartell was in competition with 171 other offices in its postal region, including those in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, Rochester, Mankato and many other places.
Last year, the Sartell post office placed second, with customers having purchased $4,200-worth of breast-cancer stamps. But even though Sartell was in second place, the 2012 sales were still a 136-percent increase from the year before, when sales totaled $1,800, Niehaus noted. The Richfield office took top honors last year.
The money raised by the stamp sales is split between the National Institute of Health (75 percent of the funds) and the National Department of Defense’s Medical Research Program (25 percent). Each stamp costs 55 cents, nine cents more than a normal first-class stamp. A sheet of 20 of the stamps sells for $11, whereas a sheet of typical stamps costs $9.20. From each sheet of breast-cancer stamps, $1.80 of the price is donated to the cause.
“We are very grateful for the total support Sartell people show toward this worthy cause and are very aware it’s their generosity that sets them apart,” Niehaus said.
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.