Loose family overwhelmed by show of support

Joel and Chris Loose visited with hundreds of people who attended a benefit in Joel's honor Sunday, Nov. 19, at The Depot in New Prague.

Joel Loose and his family were thrilled and grateful for the support they received at a benefit in his honor Sunday afternoon, Nov. 19, at The Depot in New Prague.

Approximately 450 people attended the benefit fundraiser to help the Loose family with medical expenses during Joel’s battle ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) after surviving heart and lung surgery. He is planning an update next week with doctors at the University of Minnesota, said Chris Loose, his wife.

The benefit drew people from as far away as South Dakota, Chris Loose said. The attendees included people involved in the many facets of Joel Loose’s life, family members, friends, people the family knows from church and Joel’s involvement with theater, football, school and parents of his childrens’ friends, said the Rev. Diane Goulson, one of the organizers of the benefit. Chris Loose said the support was “overwhelming.” Joel stayed and greeted people for three hours of the benefit scheduled from 4 to 8 p.m.

Attendees purchased the 85 bottles of wine available for sale and purchased all 121 of the items available through an auction held online. There were also many monetary donations offered to the family. Over 300 tickets were sold for the pulled-pork meal. The amount raised was not released.

“Joel had a wonderful time,” Chris Loose said.

“There were lots of hugs and laughter and tears,” Goulson said.

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