Thousands raised for family who lost three children in fire
PIERCE, Neb. -- After a tragic fire took the lives of three of the Clausen family's four children in late January, a devastated community in Pierce rallied to help. One way was through a silent auction, Sunday, at the Pierce County Fairgrounds.
"We really just wanted to do something right after the funeral," said Steph Cone, co-organizer.
305 items were up for auction; including a four-wheeler and a stuffed unicorn for the surviving child, Lily.
"To let them know we're still listening, still caring," Cone said. She and a team, started by the pastor of Northern Heights Baptist Church, organized the auction days after the fire.
"Watching people use their talents and gifts to help, as an organizer there wasn't really much I had to do because people came to us," Cone said.
All the money goes to the Clausen family, who the community described as humble and kind.
"[The Clausen Family] had come to clean up with our other auctions before and they were just a great hardworking family," Craig Korth, auctioneer, said.
"I go to church with the Clausen family [...] they're very tight and Lily is very fun," Laure Koch, co-organizer.
It was a happy fundraiser for the nearly 2,000 who showed up, but organizers say it hurt to think about
"If you start thinking about the emotional side of things it can really get to you," Korth said.
You can still help the Clausen's by donating to Elkhorn Valley Bank funds in their name.
"It's been an experience to watch people come out of the woodwork and donate," Cone said.
The items are predicted to raise around $200,000, as of Sunday afternoon.