Audio: Huge turnout for Lommel benefit

Audio: Huge turnout for Lommel benefit Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jan 5, 2014 at 12:03 pm

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KNSI) Hundreds of friends, family members and total strangers turned out Sunday for a fundraiser for a Minnesota-Duluth college student from St. Cloud who nearly lost her life last month.

Nineteen year-old Alyssa Lommel suffered severe frost bite and hypothermia after spending a night outdoors in Duluth in temperatures that reached 17 degrees below zero. Her friends dropped her off at her home, but she never made it inside. She was found some nine hours later by a passerby on the front porch of a home next door. 

Just before Christmas, her condition was upgraded from critical to serious.

On Sunday, a spaghetti dinner, live and silent auction and meat raffles were held at the Blue Line South Sports Bar and Grill in St. Cloud. 

Blue Line owner Esther Widor says she is friends with the Lommel family. She has two daughters of her own, and says she was, "heartbroken" when she heard what had happened. She says the entire fundraiser was put together in less than two weeks.

Abbie Hagen went to Cathedral High School with Alyssa and is her current roommate. She says Alyssa, "is taking baby steps. They're all really positive and she's doing really good.|"

Lommel has been hospitalized for a month. She's expected to undergo skin grafts this week, and will likely lose some of her fingers and toes to amputation.


Widor comments on why it was important for her to host the fundraiser

Widor says the turnout of donated items for the auction was nothing short of incredible

Abbie Hagen says Alyssa--her former classmate and current roommate, is on the mend

Hagen says it was important that she get involved in organizing the fundraiser

Widor says they had no expectations going in on how much money they hoped to raise

Widor says what happened to Alyssa could happen to any family

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