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Thanks to DLHS students, staff for generosity

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We want to express our heartfelt gratitude for the generosity and compassion The National Honor Society, DLHS students, and staff have shown to Jeff Fish, our son. We are touched by your efforts and are proud to be part of such a wonderful community.

Jeff has decided on bicycling as a lifestyle choice, rejecting driving.  As is his nature, he researched his options carefully, saved his wages for the summer, and asked for a contribution from us to count as his birthday and Christmas gift. He bought himself a "bike" with enclosed hydraulic disc brakes, lockout suspension system, and all the features to make it a viable long-term four season means of transportation. Jeff immediately began investing in upgrades. Since his purchase he has been seen everywhere in Detroit Lakes on his two wheels, often pulling young children on the Alley Cat or in a small trailer.  He was proud of his decision and his bicycle.

When Jeff was struck by a van on his way to work last month, as his parents we were absolutely terrified. There is now way to describe the cold fear that consumes a mother or father's heart when getting a call like that and seeing your baby in the emergency room. Fear gave way to relief quickly as we learned he would live, he was regaining consciousness, only one bone was broken, and he was going to be okay!

As he became aware of the situation, Jeff had two concerns:

"Somebody needs to let work know that I won't make it, the number is in my wallet."

"Can somebody get my bike?"

We were very happy that these should be the greatest of his concerns so soon after being struck by a van.

It was quite a shock when his Uncle Matt went to retrieve the bike for him and found it stolen. As the accident had occurred near the Highway Patrol office, the original responding officer was able to assist Matt in searching, but the bicycle was truly gone. It is difficult to comprehend what sort of individual would steal a bicycle from an obvious accident scene. People can be terribly disappointing.

The National Honor Society, DLHS Students, and Staff have all proven however, that overall people demonstrate compassion, generosity, and hope when they see a need. We are very thankful for the understanding and kindness shown to our son, Jeff, every day not only in the response to his accident.

Thank you all for recognizing the importance of what was stolen that afternoon. Much more than a bike, it represented independence. The theft could have irreparably damaged Jeff's basic faith in people. The outreach of supporting caring classmates from the moment he returned to school has been wonderful. The effort, commitment, and generosity we witnessed in the fundraising and purchasing of the replacement bike are overwhelming.

We are so thankful that Jeff goes to DLHS; that he is spending his days with classmates and staff who have such a wonderful spirit individually and as a community.

We hope and pray that every one of you find blessings, peace, and happiness this Holiday season and throughout your lives. -- Amy and Randall Fish, Detroit Lakes

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