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Benefit Helping Bring Light To Family Of Mother Killed In Accident

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A yearly church social event in Kindred is bringing in a much bigger crowd this year, using the event as a Fundraiser in honor of Cindy Peterson.

Peterson was killed in a collision with a Semi gravel truck just 2 weeks ago near the small North Dakota town.

Today is helping bring some light to a family during it's darkest moment.

"She would've been thrilled. She woulda been smiling and i'm sure she's up there smiling now," says Cindy's husband Jerry Peterson.

When that collision August 6th took the life of Norman Lutheran Church member Cindy Peterson, it left behind 5 young kids and a husband. Today that church organizing a community benefit in her memory.

"I never would've expected this kind of turnout," says Peterson.

350 gathered on the church grounds today, eating well, playing hard, enjoying music all while reminiscing and knowing Cindy is there too.

"She had a ton of energy. She had a laugh and a smile and you know I see her right now in the sun," says family friend and benefit organizer Joan Grabanski.

Joan was Jerry's first call after hearing about his wife's death. He says she's been his right arm ever since. Fitting she was the driving force behind organizing today's success.

There were numerous items donated for a silent auction on top of ticket sales for the kids entertainment, and food brought by an NDSU BBQ Cooking Team.

Everyone giving so much because as Joan says, it's the Cindy spirit.

"We see Cindy in everybody's heart around here. Everybody is part of the cindy peterson family," says Grabanski.

Giving not only from their hearts, but their wallets.

All proceeds went to the family.

"Something that you know the family and I will be able to look back on in the future and say you know people really cared, and it's something maybe the world is lacking a little bit of right now," says Peterson.

But today wasn't about money as much as helping a family with dark days ahead.. take a step in the direction of healing

"It's baby steps, you know a step here a step there you know this is a great step. It kind of lightens my heart just a little bit to see everyone here and just help me move just a little bit farther," says Peterson.

Some of the funds raised today are expected to go toward helping the Peterson children with college, and a tree memorial at a softball field where Cindy's daughter plays.

Brian Abel
Brian joined WDAZ in October of 2014, after reporting and anchoring at WDAY in Fargo since October 2013. He currently co-anchors the 6 and 10pm WDAZ News weekdays, and co-anchors the Saturday 6 and 10pm WDAY/WDAZ simulcast news. He was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan and graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in Journalism. Brian has traveled across the country as a spokesperson for the automotive industry. He has also lived in Los Angeles, working in entertainment before pursuing his career in broadcasting. It’s experiences like these that give him a unique perspective when reporting. Brian is a Michigan Wolverines fan with an avid interest in politics and golf.  He is thrilled to be sharing stories with the Greater Grand Forks community working at WDAZ and looks forward to hearing any of your comments, concerns and story ideas.