PLATTSMOUTH – As Dani Patrick looked around at the large number of people who came to offer her their support and financial aid after a devastating fire, she said, “I think I could not be more loved.”
Indeed, hundreds attended a fish fry fundraiser last Saturday at Plattsmouth’s DC’s Waterhole Bar to show their compassion for Patrick and her two young daughters after they lost everything in an apartment fire on Christmas Day, of all days.
“It’s been tough going, but the support of my family and the community has been overwhelming,” Patrick said. “I’m so grateful.”
Besides the fish dinners, money for her family was raised in several ways such as donated prizes being raffled off, as well as people playing 50/50 (with half the money going to the family). There was also a live auction.
Altogether, $4,109 was raised, along with $500 from donation jars at the bar and other places.
“It was great, amazing,” said Patrick’s mother, Laura Choate.
Patrick’s current address is Bellevue, but she was raised in Plattsmouth, graduating from Plattsmouth High School in 2009.
Like other families, Patrick and her two daughters, Enli, 5, and Collins, almost 2, were looking forward to Christmas with the opening of gifts and dinner with family.
But, a fire broke out in their Bellevue apartment, and while they escaped unharmed, all their possessions—clothing, family mementos, baby pictures, that day’s presents—were gone.
Yet, they had the one thing that is really everything – family.
Despite the loss, Patrick and the girls were able to enjoy the holiday spirit with family members.
“We ate on time, we opened presents,” said Brynn Patrick, Dani’s sister. “We were blessed to be together. We rejoiced on what we had – the family.”
She recalled how Dani expressed her commitment to proceed with life “as normal.”
“That’s what we honored,” Brynn said.
Patrick and her daughters have found a new place in Bellevue. In fact, the day prior to the fundraiser was the first month anniversary of their new home.
“My new apartment finally feels like a new home,” she said.
Patrick’s real home, however, might forever be her small-town roots.
“I’ve never been more proud of being from a small town than I am now,” she said during the event. “People really get behind you and not just to get back on your feet, but to succeed. You couldn’t possibly feel more love.”