May 28, 2007

Jeff Stern's friends plan memorial fundraiser for his kids' education

By Ivan Raconteur
Staff Writer

Jeff Stern was a single dad raising two teenagers when he died suddenly last September of a stroke at age 43.

Stern’s death was unexpected, and some of his friends have come together to organize a benefit to see that his wishes are carried out, and his children are able to continue their Christian education.

Stern’s daughter, Alexandra Stern, will turn 17 in August, and is a student at Mayer Lutheran High School. Stern’s son Zachary will turn 14 in July and attends Christ Community School in Watertown.

Stern was a strong believer in the importance of a Christian education. He was a graduate of both Christ Community and Mayer Lutheran, and was very involved in both schools. He was a long-time school board president at Christ Community.

The benefit will take place Saturday, June 16 at B’s on the River/River’s Edge Golf Course in Watertown.

The golf tournament is open to teams of four players. Shotgun starts will be at noon and 3:30 p.m.

The event will also feature a hog roast starting at 4:30 p.m., and live music by the Funk Junkies from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.

There will also be a silent auction from noon to 7:30 p.m., as well as door prizes and golf prizes.

Cost for the golf tournament, hog roast, and the band is $60 per person. For those who choose not to golf, the cost for the hog roast and the band is $15 per person. Cost for the band only is $5 per person.

Tee and green sponsorships for the golf tournament are available for $200 (space is limited to 18 sponsorships).

Organizers are also accepting donations for the silent auction. The list of suggested items includes:

• hotel gift certificates.

• green fees/golf packages.

• collectible items/sports memorabilia.

• apparel, CDs, DVDs, jewelry

• services (oil changes, maintenance, web site design, tanning packages).

• event tickets (comedy clubs, sporting events).

• gift certificates for restaurants and theaters.

• sporting equipment.

• certificates for spas or salons.

To register for the golf tournament, donate items for the silent auction, or for more information, contact Bryan Baumann at B’s on the River (952) 955-2223.

At the time of his death, Stern was in the process of renovating a house in Winsted. “Fixing up that house was his dream,” said his mother, Rosie Stern of Mayer.

Rosie said the children are very close to her and her husband, Don Stern, and, throughout their lives, have spent much of their time before and after school at their grandparents’ home.

Rosie said Stern was employed as a wine salesman for Quality Wine and Spirits in Bloomington for 20 years, and met a lot of people through his work.

Stern’s friends, Nick Drew, Rich Neumann, Stan and Tracy Hill, Bryan Baumann and Jacque Lobitz organized the fundraiser in Jeff’s memory.

They have continued to be involved with the family since Jeff’s death, Rosie said.

“I am very lucky that my son had such good friends. They are more than friends, they are family,” Rosie commented.

Alexandra and Zachary currently live in Lester Prairie with their mother, Tamara Vergin.

Want to help?

• What: Memorial fundraiser and golf tournament

• When: Saturday, June 16, noon to 10:30 p.m.

• Where: B’s on the River/River’s Edge Golf Course, Watertown.

• Shotgun starts at noon and 3:30 p.m. Four-person teams.

• Hog roast 4:30 p.m.

• Live music by the Funk Junkies 6:30 - 10:30 p.m.

• Cost: golf, hog roast, and music, $60 per person; hog roast and band, $15 per person; band only, $5 per person.

• Silent auction, door prizes, and golf prizes.

• to donate items for the auction or for more information, contact Bryan Baumann at B’s on the River (952) 955-2223

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