Regan Gittlein, second from left, visits with Jim Lee of rural Elsie prior to the start of the auction as Regan’s brother Brady has a few words with Rex Prior. (Johnson Publications photo)

It was a night of hugs and tears for the Gittlein family as they met and visited with people at the benefit. Here, Marianne Sullivan gives a big hug to Jeremey after an embrace for Amy, too. (Johnson Publications photo)

Gittleins overwhelmed with benefit response

    “Overwhelming” is how Amy Gittlein described Saturday night’s benefit for her son and family that drew 350 people to the fairgrounds.
    When she and her husband, Jeremey, pulled up to the new exhibit building and the parking lot was already full, and then they looked inside and saw hundreds of people, she said they were overcome.
    “It was just overwhelming,” she said.
    The free will donation meal of pulled pork sandwiches, hamburgers, potatoes, vegetables and dessert preceded a live auction of about 20 items, in addition to more than 90 silent auction items laid out on nine tables.
    Saturday’s benefit was held two months to the day after Regan’s July 16 accident. The entire Gittlein family attended, including Regan, who received more good news Monday and Tuesday after a trio of doctor appointments in Greeley, Colo., where he was hospitalized for nearly two months following the  accident west of Sterling.
    Doctors said his recovery is going extremely well, Amy noted, and they still do not anticipate that he’ll have any further surgeries.
    Most significant is the bone growth in Regan’s neck, she said, where three vertebrae were fractured.
    “There has been so much bone growth. The doctors are amazed,” she said.
    If progress continues, the doctors said Regan’s neck brace can come off in about six weeks, she said.
    During the live auction, the biggest seller was the harvesting services for a quarter of irrigated corn, donated by a group of Elsie-area farmers.
    Top-selling items in the live auction also included a seven-month old replacement quality heifer for a 4-H program and the processing of a donated hog.

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