Unmatched support

40_lahren-1924ALWAYS A GOOD TIME  – Jim Greer hosts a “Light Auction” Saturday night with the help of Zane Drishinski’s unmatched enthusiasm. This light, donated by Kronebusch Electric, was sold for $50, but Kronebusch Electric matched those funds for $100.  I-O Photo by Deanna Wakkinen

By Deanna Wakkinen, I-O Reporter

The parking lot filled quickly as cars began to spread down the adjacent roadways, and the masses joined together to support a young girl and her family.

Toddler Lahren (Rhen) Fowler is like any other youngster, curious, determined and quick on her feet. Dec. 18 will weigh heavily on this family as they remember it as the day that all of these young qualities got the best of her. Rhen, in the blink of an eye, tumbled off a second story balcony, causing her to suffer a traumatic brain injury.

Now on the road to recovery, the family finds itself temporarily residing in a hotel room, close to A Denver hospital and returning there daily for occupational and physical therapy.

With support stemming from near and far, a spaghetti dinner and live auction were held on Saturday at the Pondera Golf Club. The results, over $50,000 raised to help out a great family and their medical expenses.

Just a few of the big ticket items included a Scriver Bronze art piece, which was donated by Dan and Connie Bitney, which sold for $4,400, a Beau Rivage resort vacation in Biloxi, Miss. went for $2,400 and another bidder was also willing to purchase the trip for the same amount if another trip was purchased, Kelli (Weist) and Nik Rytterstrom, the ones who donated the trip, will provide a second trip, and a Tennessee Titans football jersey signed by Marc Mariani sold for $2,400.

There were 24 live auction items on the program but another item was added, a live buffalo was purchased for $1,100.

Alongside the live auction was a bucket raffle drawing in which you purchased raffle tickets, placed them in the bucket of the item you wished to win and hoped to win it. There was also a 50/50 drawing, support bracelets, the spaghetti feed, custom t-shirts (t-shirts are still available at Cowboy Designs and the proceeds will be donated), created by Cowboy Designs, a rifle raffle and a “Party Fowl-er” basketball hoop challenge.

Zane Drishinski was the auctioneer and Jim Greer was the MC for the evening. Drishinski commented that it “went wonderful” and the night was “another good reason to live in small town USA.”

The future of Rhen Fowler is bright but always unpredictable. She is currently battling a staph infection and carries a bag of antibiotics on her side which will likely remain there for another five weeks. There is still swelling in her brain but thanks to technology, doctors do plan to replace the piece of skull that they removed after her fall.

On Friday the family plans to move into a furnished apartment in Denver and resume a slightly more normal routine that will continue to involve therapy and visits from home health nurses. Plans to return home are still distant and they are estimating another eight to nine weeks in Denver.