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Cokato teens recovering well after accident in March
April 11, 2011
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DC students plan benefits to help with medical costs

By Jennifer Kotila
Staff Writer

DASSEL, COKATO, MN – Both Kristina Pfannenstein and Sade Clay are well on the road to recovery following the accident after which both were airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center March 2.

Pfannenstein, a junior at Dassel-Cokato High School, returned to school Monday after nearly losing her life in the accident, which occurred on an icy stretch of Highway 12 just outside of Cokato. Clay, a senior at DC, was able to return to school a few weeks ago.

Both girls are expected to fully recover from their injuries, although it will take some time.

Pfannenstein’s face remains paralyzed on the right side from nerve damage sustained in the accident, and she sometimes has a hard time remembering things, she said.

She does not remember the accident, or the two to three weeks following it.

Clay will be wearing a neck brace for awhile due to broken bones in her neck at the base of her skull.

Although the girls are back in school and doing well, their families still have expensive medical bills incurred because of the accident.

Because of that, a group of young women at Dassel-Cokato High School have planned some fundraisers to help the families out, from which the proceeds will be split evenly between them.

“We want to help the family out. They were in the hospital for awhile, and that cost a lot of money,” said senior Rachael Gahnz.

“We all thought that if we were in that situation, we would want that help,” said senior Beth Schmid.

There are three different fundraisers taking place to benefit Pfannenstein and Clay.

Over the next few weeks, while supplies last, the student council and other students will be selling blue wristbands for $1 at lunchtime with “Kristina and Sade” written on them.

There will also be an activity day at the school which will take place during advisory time.

Students will be able to pre-purchase $2 tickets to participate in the activity day, where there will be different games available for students to play in one of the gyms.

The third fundraiser will be the “DC Kristina and Sade Benefit” at Buffalo Wild Wings (BWW) in Hutchinson, Monday, May 16 from 5 to 9 p.m.

Special tickets will be printed and distributed to the public for that evening, and BWW will donate 15 percent of its pre-taxed sales to the Pfannenstein and Clay families.

“We’re just really hoping we can raise a lot of money to help pay bills,” said senior Taborah Tanner.

Both Pfannenstein and Clay are a little overwhelmed by all the support they are receiving from the community.

“I didn’t think all those people would be here for us,” Clay said, noting that she finds all the attention feels a little weird, as well.

“It’s so nice of them, it’s great how they have been thinking about us,” Pfannenstein said.

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