Longtime friends and neighbors are joining together to host a benefit for an Ogema man who was injured after becoming buried in a trench, while working in an area near Cedar Crest Resort on White Earth, a little over three weeks ago.
Kami Lhotka, one friend who is organizing the benefit, says Jason Hoban became trapped in a trench on April 27, when a large piece of wet clay caved in and fell on him. She says his upper body took the brunt of the impact, and he had to spend 15 days in the hospital recovering after being life-flighted to Fargo.
"He has ... a lot of broken ribs," said Lhotka.
Lhotka says the doctors aren't sure if Hoban will still need more surgeries or not. She says his road to recovery will be long, and right now they're all still taking it day-by-day.
In the meantime, friends and community members are rallying around Hoban and his family, hoping to raise some money to ease the burden of the medical expenses.
"He and his wife (Anne-Marye) do a lot for the community. Because they give so much to the community, we wanted to repay the favor," said Lhotka, adding that the Hobans aren't ones to ask for a fundraiser, but the community felt compelled to do so.
Hoban has been an elementary wrestling coach in the Waubun-Ogema-White Earth School District for some time. Lhotka says he pushed to get the sport going for the school. He has also reffed the sport, which is close to his heart, for the last 20 years. He and his wife are also very active with the Ogema Community Club and otherwise well-known in the area.
Lhotka says the Hobans are always among the first to reach out when others are in need, whether it be for a benefit or other donations, so she believes it's time the community pay that forward - or back - to them.
"They're just a great couple to have next to you," said Lhotka, who has lived nextdoor to the Hobans for many years on Little White Earth Lake. "Our kids play together. We do almost everything together in the summers."
Lhotka says after his accident, Hoban earned the nickname "Mr. Incredible," and they will be celebrating Mr. Incredible and his fight for recovery at the benefit for him set for Saturday, June 15 at 4 p.m. at the Cedar Crest Resort.
The event will have a hog roast and sloppy joes, available for a free-will donation. They're also hoping to have a beer truck at the event, where people can purchase refillable mugs during the evening.
The benefit will also have a silent auction, raffles, and other games for those who attend.
Donations for Hoban are being accepted by the Ogema Community Club. For more information, people can contact Lhotka at 218-766-7103 or reach out to Vikki Bevins at 651-301-9456 or Jamie Weigel at 218-401-0158.