LizFest honors young La Crosse woman who lost battle with lung cancer

Published On: Jun 09 2012 06:40:20 PM CDT   Updated On: Jun 09 2012 09:36:40 PM CDT

LA CRESCENT, Minn -- About 1,000 people gathered Saturday to honor a woman who's life was lost way too soon.

LizFest took place at Veteran's Park in La Crescent, to honor 25-year-old Elizabeth Melde of La Crosse, who lost her battle with lung cancer earlier this year. She was a non-smoker.

Her husband helped organized Saturday's event.

People enjoyed some live music, a beer garden and a dunk tank as well as volleyball and golf tournaments among other things.

Elizabeth's husband said he hopes this event does more than just keeping her memory alive.

"I'm hoping that it will raises funds to help with research, because the reason that lung cancer doesn't get the funds is because people consider it a smoker's disease and there just isn't that much sympathy. But my wife along with 28,000 people die from lung cancer [each year] and they're not smokers," said Matt Melde.

News 8's own Mike Thompson also took a couple dips in the celebrity dunk tank for the good cause.

Melde's husband hopes LizFest will become an annual event.

He also hopes to start a non-profit "Living for Liz," to fight lung cancer and promote healthy everyday living.