When there is a need, the people of central Nebraska tend to answer the call. Saturday, July 21, that opportunity presented itself, as a benefit for Randy Franzen brought well over 100 people to the event.
The benefit began with participants meeting downtown at Tiffany Theater, where organizational plans for the poker run were made prior to viewing the classic movie, â€śEvery Which Way But Loose.â€ť The movie was shown free, through the generosity of Stuart Fox, one of the benefitâ€™s sponsors.
After the movie, the poker run got underway, with 78 poker hands being played. With temperatures approaching the century mark, riders were grateful for each hydration stop along the way. The first stop on the run was the Co-op in Anselmo. Then it was on west to Normâ€™s Sinclair in Dunning, over to Devilâ€™s Den near Arnold, a stop at Trotterâ€™s in Merna, and back to Tomahawk Park in Broken Bow.
Scott Blackburn ended up with the high hand, followed by George Jackson with second high hand. Mark Larson had the low hand. All three donated their winnings back to the benefit fund.
The 50-50 pot was won by Kent Taylor, who also turned the money back to the fund. The Custer County Car Club presented a check for $500 to the benefit fund.
Back at Tomahawk Park, guests were treated to a hot dog roast, sponsored by the Lionâ€™s Club. Sitting under the shade of the picnic shelter and the parks many trees, music by Karen Nehls entertained the crowd as they ate.
Then came the auction. Local businesses and individuals generously donated a wide variety of items, which were auctioned by Terry Connely. Organizers Tim Troxel and Rick Jones say they were very pleased with the turnout for the event, and even more pleased with the donations they received.
Randy Franzen is the owner and operator of Two Reds Auto Parts in Broken Bow. He was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis two years ago.
â€śRight now he is still mobile, but the stairs are getting to be quite a challenge,â€ť says Randyâ€™s wife, Dian.
The funds raised at the benefit will be used to provide easier access for Randy into his home.
â€śThe thing went off without a hitch. Everyone chipped in and it really wasnâ€™t a big job for any of us,â€ť says Tim Troxel. â€śThe hardest part was convincing Randy to let us do it.â€ť
The Franzen family says they are overwhelmed by the response and generosity they have received, and are grateful to everyone for the support.