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Rushford community puts on fundraiser to support Cords family

RUSHFORD, Minn. (FOX 47) – The Cords’ family home in Rushford burned down in the early hours of Halloween morning just about a month ago.

To support the family on their road to recovery, the American Legion in Rushford hosted a fundraising event Saturday night.

Jen Hatlevig remembers hearing the news of her brother’s house fire all too well.

“All I kept thinking was ‘Please God, please make everybody be alive.’ Materialistic things can all be replaced but please just make sure everybody is alive,” said Hatlevig.

Jared and his three daughters were taken to the Regions Hospital Burn Center. Youngest daughter Peyton still remains in care.

“She’s going to undergo another surgery but she continues to get better each and everyday,” Hatlevig said. “On Thanksgiving, I can tell you she had her first food since she’s been in the hospital. You think about Thanksgiving and giving thanks and it was such a blessing that day.”

While the family is still recovering, she says that they have stayed strong in the face of adversity.

“I truly feel like they have come together as a family,” said Hatlevig. “Not only them as a family but really the town of Rushford and the surrounding community has really grown. I feel like they’re almost a part of their family.”

And that family came out to support at the American Legion, where the room was so packed there was hardly space to move. They offered not just money, but items for the family, even offers of housing.

“Anything that they need, they will get when they need it,” said event organizer Jen Snyder.

There were silent and live auctions as well as a bake sale and other food made to help raise money.

Snyder has known Cords family for a long time. However, she says its not just her who made the event possible.

“Everybody. Literally everybody. Communities far and wide,” Snyder said. “People we don’t know. Families who don’t have much to give have given. Just everybody.”

The incredible support is a testament to how loved the Cords are in their town.

“They’re just an amazing, giving family,” said Snyder.

“He is probably one of the most generous people you’ll ever meet,” said Hatlevig of her brother.

Whether its a flood or a house fire, the residents of Rushford band together and support each other.

“Always been that way, always going to be that way,” said Snyder. I knew everybody would come out and just come together and make it happen for a very well deserving family.”

Another fundraiser will be hosted at the Rochester Eagles on December 14th to help out the family.

Alex Tejada

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