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Injured players and families say ‘thank you’

September 13, 2012

The eight Broken Bow High School basketball players involved in a June 1 fatal crash near Ansley, gathered for a community thank you celebration Sunday, Sept. 9. Pictured, from left, are Lane Albus, Marcus Miller, Austin Reynolds, Taylor O’Brien, Hunter Campbell, Grayson Minnick, Chad Christensen and Scott Gates. Photo by Ellen Mortensen

Just nine days after celebrating his 18th birthday, Chad Christensen joined his basketball teammates to say thank you to those who supported them during their time of recovery and healing.
In an open house Sept. 9, the eight members of the Broken Bow boys basketball team involved in the tragic June 1 accident, along with their families, greeted members of the community - as well as members of the rescue squads and fire department that responded to the accident.
“We wanted to just say thank you to the community for all the support,” says Cathy Christensen. “It has been overwhelming, and we didn’t know how else to reach everybody as there were so many. We really want to thank our EMTs.”
Cathy says the families of the injured players received gas cards, gift cards for groceries and monetary donations - many of them sent anonymously. There were also lots of well wishes, hugs and prayers on behalf of the students, which Cathy says the families did not want to go unnoticed.
Chad Christensen was the most severely injured in the accident, finally returning home to Broken Bow Aug. 10.
He was recently cleared by his doctor to join the rest of his team on the basketball court this season, which he says is the good news he has been waiting to here!
The team’s head and assistant basketball coaches, Anthony Blum and Zane Harvey, along with the driver of the other vehicle, Albert Sherbeck, were killed in the June 1 accident. However, the team says they are more determined than ever to carry on the legacy Coach Blum began just one year ago, and bring that to the court this season.
As the community continues to heal, word of a fatal school bus accident near Blue Hill brought prayers and support from those all too familiar with such devastating loss. Donation buckets were set up in the Municipal Auditorium Sunday during the open house for the families of the Blue Hill students.
The eight basketball players also had the opportunity to finally say thank you in person to the EMTs and emergency personnel who responded to the accident that Friday afternoon, a gesture many of the boys say they have wanted to do.
As community members, family members of the victims, and the students themselves ate cookies and talked, a wonderful sound could be heard in the auditorium - the sound of laughter. . . the sound of healing.

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