Olivia Harlan Dekker, Sam Dekker have baby on way, charity work to do

APPLETON – As a sideline sports reporter, Olivia Harlan Dekker knows a little something about streaks, and the one she has going with the Children’s Cancer Family Foundation of Northeast Wisconsin is especially dear to her heart.

Last week, she flew to Wisconsin from Istanbul, Turkey, where husband Sam Dekker plays in the Turkish Basketball Super League, so she can emcee Saturday’s Gold Ribbon Gala.

It’s the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Appleton-based nonprofit that provides financial assistance and free events to lift spirits for families with a child with cancer. This is the fifth year for the night out, which gets a Kentucky Derby theme this time around, and the fifth year Harlan Dekker has hosted.

When she says the event is back in a big way this year, she’s talking mostly about its return as an in-person event at Poplar Hall after the pandemic forced it to go virtual the last two years, but she also can’t help but point out the obvious.

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