Father's Day benefit will help support Paul Korsness family
Friday, June 13, 2014 6:22 AM
Even a dad needs a little help sometimes.
And organizers from Burr Oak and Hesper Lutheran churches hope the public will take some time to “support a dad with your dad” at a special event this Father’s Day, Sunday, June 15.
Proceeds from the event, held at Hutchinson Family Campground, will assist Paul Korsness, 44, of rural Decorah, who was diagnosed with malignant pancreatic cancer in February of this year.
Paul, a 1988 graduate of North Winneshiek High School, and his wife, Nicolle, (Hutchinson), have four children: Kelsie (21), Dylan (18), Cameron (16) and Jensen (8). Paul works as a carpenter and farmer and raises sheep and cattle.
He has been traveling to Mayo Clinic in Rochester for treatment, which includes a monthly shot to slow the growth of the tumor, as well as chemotherapy.
Donations will go toward medical, living and travel expenses.
Nicolle was emotional about her family’s situation.
“It’s hard to believe how one day is normal and the next day your life totally changes,” said Nicolle.
“All you’ve worked for for 22 years … and you’re back to the beginning,” she added.
While the Korsnesses have insurance, meeting the deductible, uncovered expenses and Paul’s inability to work have caused the family to fall back on their savings.
Nicolle said she and her family have been completely overwhelmed with the outpouring of support since Paul’s diagnosis.
“I want to acknowledge our churches and especially Todd Snell, who stepped up and took our ewes and lambed them out. There’s no way Paul could have done it,” said Nicolle.
“People just came and really got us through those first two months when we were in our whirlwind. Our nephews and our families … and the staff at North Winn have been awesome,” said Nicolle, who is employed at North Winn as a student associate and librarian.
“I could be writing thank-yous forever,” she added.
Sarah Christopher, special education teacher at North Winn, said she decided to help the Korsnesses because of the wonderful coworker Nicolle has been.
“She is a great supporter of our students here at school, and I wanted to help her and be supportive for her,” said Christopher, who is planning the Father’s Day event with committee members Dixie Hutchinson (Nicolle’s mom), Linda Folstad and Kirsten Heine. In addition, Tammy Nordheim is helping the group apply for matching Thrivent supplemental funds.
About the event
Christopher said the event should offer something “fun for father and family” all day long.
The day begins with a family fun run/walk at 8 a.m. The deadline for pre-registration is Wednesday, May 21, and those who preregister will receive a T-shirt. Registration will also take place the day of the event, beginning at 7 a.m.
There will be an outdoor worship service with live music beginning at 10 a.m., followed by a meal at 11 a.m. Cost of the meal is a free-will donation.
At noon, there will be a “power auction” with 10 lots only.
“We’ve received some generous donations from many businesses around the area,” said Christopher, adding Decorah Schools have put together a sports package and North Winn has donated a fishing-basket package.
Other activities throughout the day include carnival fun, a dunk tank, pony rides and cow chip bingo. There will be a toy duck race at 1 p.m. and a beanbag tournament beginning at 2 p.m.
As part of the event, the Decorah High School football team plans to help by setting up a carnival booth.
Paul holds the North Winneshiek school record in the 100-meter dash. In 1987, he went undefeated and was the Class 1A state champion.
As a member of the DHS football team, Paul still holds the record for the longest run from scrimmage at 94 yards.
How to help
Christopher said she hopes many people will look at the event as a worthy way to spend their Father’s Day.
For those who cannot attend, but would still like to donate to the Korsnesses, there is a Pizza Ranch benefit tomorrow, Wednesday, May 21, from 4 -8 p.m., with proceeds helping the family.
In addition, there is an account set up at Decorah Bank and Trust in Decorah for those wishing to donate money.
“This help will keep me home with my kids this summer so I don’t have to work,” said Nicolle.
“It might also allow us to take a vacation … Paul needs to fish with the boys.”