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Published January 10, 2010, 05:28 PM

Heidi Jo Anderson Benefit

Three friends held a pancake and sausage breakfast to raise funds for an area grandmother raising three kids after their mother died in a car accident this past fall.

It's been three months since a Devils Lake woman was killed in a rollover.

Heidi Jo Anderson left behind three young children, who are now being looked after by their grandmother.

Today, Heidi's friends organized a special benefit in Devils Lake to help out the family.

Pancakes and sausage are on the menu at the Knights of Columbus hall in Devils Lake.

"I hope to see at least 500 to 600 people through here, that's my hope," Benefit organizer Mandy Thomas said.

But this is more than just another after-church brunch. Three friends are raising money to help a Maddock family and three small kids.

"For Heidi's mom, it's been really hard because she lost another daughter seven years ago, Amy, to brain cancer, she had a brain tumor, so it's been very hard on Grandma Tami," Thomas said.

Heidi Anderson died in a car accident this past fall when she was taking her youngest daughter to a doctor's appointment. Anderson's friends remember her as a caring mother with a nurturing personality.

"Heidi was one of those people, if you talked to her, she didn't even have to know you and she'd want to help take care of you," Thomas said.

Heidi was killed on October 20th, when she lost control of her SUV on the way to Devils Lake and rolled in the ditch. Two of her youngest children were in the car with her, but survived the crash.

"They were very lucky," Heidi's long-time friend Chelsey Carpenter said.

"When Heidi passed away, my first instinct was let's help these kids, because as far as her grandmother, who's prepared, all of a sudden to have, in a blink of an eye, to have to take care of three kids? Nobody's ever prepared for that," Thomas said.

But Thomas and Carpenter say they hope the money raised from the food and silent auction will ease some of the stress on the family.

"Just something nice for them, not that she needs it, but it's just a nice gesture," Carpenter said.

"She's never going to know her mom, never going to know who she was and remember the smells, the sights of her, she's never going to know that, so when they grow up, I want them to be able to have something, something where they can start their lives, because they won't have that mom there to help them," Thomas said.

Organizers say about 200 people attended the benefit.

A donation fund has also been set up in the Anderson children's name at Bremer Bank in Devils Lake.