Poker run raises $5,600 for fire victimsSehnert family soldiers on after loss of son.
By: Chris Huber, The Daily Republic
A loud roar of engines from Harleys and Hondas reverberated off the buildings of Main Street Mitchell just after 1 p.m. Saturday.
All the noise and the commotion wasn’t without reason, though. It was the Army National Guard Combined Support Maintenance Shop Benefit Poker Run, heading out for a five-town tour. About 140 people took part in the run, which this year benefitted the Sehnert family, who lost their home and 3-year-old son Jaxon to a fire April 20. The event raised $5,600 for the family. Jordon Sehnert and his wife Jessica said the outpouring of support from the community has been amazing.
“It means a lot, I don’t even know most of the people here, so for the community to care this much, it’s really nice,” Jordon said.
Sehnert said benefits like the poker run have helped him and his family get through the tragedy they endured, but it is still difficult to deal with what happened.
“We are still kind of in the process to recover what we have left of our old life, so to speak,” Jordon said.
“We still weren’t even settled before from me coming back home, so starting a new chapter is hard. We are getting there, but we will see.”
Jordon arrived home from a nine-month tour in Iraq and Kuwait with the 139th Brigade Support Battalion National Guard Unit at the start of March.
He said the hardest part of the ordeal has been “losing your reason to do anything or accomplish things during the day.”
Jessica added it’s hard “just believing (Jaxon) isn’t here anymore.” But they keep going to set an example for their other son.
Jacob, 6, was with the couple at The Depot before the start of the poker run.
He was hospitalized for smoke inhalation after the fire in April but has since recovered and was in high spirits Saturday. He said he likes the new house he and his family moved into in Emery, and he even helped pick it out.
This was the first poker run the family had participated in, and they planned to follow the route in their car as they traveled from Mitchell to Stickney, Corsica, Delmont and Parkston before ending up back at The Depot in Mitchell. Participants picked up a card at each spot and tried to end up with the best poker hand.
For Traci Loecker, volunteering for and participating in the poker run was a no-brainer.
“As soon as they told me what the benefit was for I, knew I was on board to help,” she said. “I look it as two great things we are helping out with his benefit. Not only are we helping out the Sehnert family, but we are helping out the National Guard as well.
“Anytime we can help our troops, I think it’s a great thing.”
Loecker said she hopes the Sehnerts understand they don’t have to go through this tragedy alone.
“I hope they will see how much support they really have,” Loecker said. “If this helps them get on their feet and alleviate some of the financial part of it, I think it’s a great thing.”
This was not the first fundraiser for the Sehnert family since the fire. Raffles, bank funds and benefit lunches have been among the efforts undertaken. Noah Larson, a classmate of Jacob’s, raised money at his school to buy him an iPad.