Fundraising underway for Kilzer family

Fundraising is already underway for a little boy recently diagnosed with cancer. Luke Kilzer, 4, of Adams County was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) on April 13, and the community has rallied around him and his family ever since.

Many gathered in Hettinger for Luke Kilzer COURTESY PHOTO
Many gathered in Hettinger for Luke Kilzer
COURTESY PHOTO

By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net

Fundraising is already underway for a little boy recently diagnosed with cancer. Luke Kilzer, 4, of Adams County was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) on April 13, and the community has rallied around him and his family ever since.

During Mother’s Day, relatives of the family in Regent held a lunch at the Cannon Ball Saloon, and people battled through the rough weather conditions that day to fill the place with Kilzer family supporters.

But the fundraising didn’t stop there.

Currently, a group of individuals is passing around t-shirt orders in support of Luke. Those order forms have been distributed all around the region and have reached multiple communities.

Another community gathered to support the Kilzer family on Wednesday, May 27 at The Granary in Hettinger. Hettinger and area residents congregated at the venue for a burger and brat supper.

Materials and food were all donated, according to Somer Nagel, who helps with the fundraising efforts. Nagel said the group helping with fundraising also includes Kat Weinart and Patty Ness, along with many other individuals assisting during the events.

“This (food and materials) was all donated, and 100 percent of the proceeds were going to Luke Kilzer’s medical fund,” Nagel said.

Those donating and sponsoring include Dakota Packing Co., Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Pepsi in Hettinger, United Grain Corporation, Hettinger Candy Company and Kennedy’s Fresh Foods.

Though it was only a rough estimate at the time of the interview, Nagel said the fundraiser generated about $6,300 from the supper.

“We’re very, very pleased,” Nagel said. “We’re really excited for that.”

The meal started at 5 p.m. and people began to filter out around 7 p.m.

Nagel said she didn’t have an exact head count, but that initially they had food for 200 people and before the end of the event they had to go out and get more.

Nagel said the fundraising efforts will be ongoing, and that if anyone has any ideas for events they are open to any suggestions.

Luke’s mother, Maria, said that everyone in the family is doing pretty well and that it’s good to be back home again. Maria said that the responses to Luke’s diagnoses from the community has been great.

“It’s been overwhelming actually, they’ve been just amazing, I think almost the entire time we were out in Minneapolis for that month someone brought a meal over to our family,” Maria said.

The big events are great, and Maria said that the little things help out just as much, including the meals, watching kids and coming over to check on cows.

One group of family members from the Rhame area came and painted their house and built a deck, something Maria said made the transition home easier.

“Just knowing that the community is there for us has been amazing,” Maria said.

Farm Rescue is going to come out and help too. Farm Rescues is a non-profit group that helps with planting for families who have suffered a major illness.

Those who wish to donate to Luke Kilzer’s medical fund can contact Dakota Western Bank  located in Bowman, Scranton, Rhame and Hettinger, where Maria said a fund has been set up.

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