A steady stream of hungry people filed into the Municipal Auditorium on Sunday. They were hungry, but also eager to lend some support to Chad Fuller and his family.
Chad, assistant principal at David City Public Schools, broke his neck July 8 in a lake accident at a family gathering near St. Paul. The injury left him paralyzed, facing a long road to recovery. Following rehab treatment in Lincoln, Chad has moved back to David City and lives at St. Joseph’s Villa.
“I’m blown away by all the generosity,” Chad said as he visited with family and friends during the benefit. “I can see why people have called David City home, and we’ve only been here four years.”
Chad said he was grateful for the technology that has helped him with everyday living and allowed him to be back near his family.
Fuller family members summed up their response to the support with one word: Overwhelmed.
“The family would just like to thank everyone who came out to support Chad and the family,” said Chad’s brother, Rusty Fuller of St. Paul. “With several expenses awaiting, every little bit helps. We are very humbled by the generosity of all the volunteers who took time to make this event happen. We pray every day that Chad keeps improving and with the help of all of you we know great things will happen.”
The David City Booster Club organized the event, which featured a pancake breakfast and a long lineup of items in a silent auction. Items came from area businesses and also neighboring schools - Aquinas, East Butler and Shelby-Rising City.
David City elementary teacher Jodi Andel, treasurer of the DCHS Booster Club, said the fund raiser was expected to surpass $10,000 raised. She praised the work of all the volunteers.
“I thought it was great for the community to come out and support the Fullers,” she said, noting that much of the work was done behind the scenes.
“Laura Smith and Tracy Hein had gone and gathered all of the silent auction items and organized those,” she said. “There were thousands of dollars of things donated.”
Booster club members realized that the financial struggles of medical care are high and will continue.
“We wanted to do our part and the booster club thought that would help,” Andel said. “Hopefully (support) doesn’t’ stop just because there isn’t another organized benefit for them.”
The community extended beyond Butler County to other communities who know the Fullers through their involvement in high school athletics. Chad coached and taught at Syracuse before coming to David City, and his father, Bob Fuller, now filling in at Weeping Water, has had a long career in schools across the state. In August, a contingent of David City teachers and friends took part in a softball tournament benefit in Syracuse. Rusty Fuller said fund raisers knew that they expenses would continue, so he was grateful for the David City event.
Accounts to assist the Fuller family have been set up at US Bank and Countryside Bank in Syracuse. Bob Fuller has established a fund at the Plattsmouth State Bank in Plattsmouth to help with the specialized van that the Fullers need for transportation.