Dear Editor:

On behalf of the Rude and Amundson families, I would like to say thank you to everyone that has offered support towards Jared, Amanda and their daughters as Jared recovers from his recent fall. 

On Dec. 7, Jared was working at his home on scaffolding when it collapsed. Jared fell, landing face down on the concrete floor in their shed suffering a traumatic head injury. He fractured his temporal bone, causing a brain bleed and also fractured facial bones and vertebrae. He was airlifted to La Crosse where he remained in the ICU for several days then in the neurology department for several more. 

Jared was later transferred to the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Chicago. He is receiving intensive therapy for an extended period of time to help him regain basic skills to be as independent as possible.

The Rude and Amundson families wanted to say thank you to everyone that has and continues to offer support, donations, visits and prayers. There has been such a big outpouring of support that it is difficult to thank each person individually. It is times like these that remind us how lucky we are to be part of such a wonderful community of family, friends, neighbors, organizations and law enforcement. 

It is amazing to see that not only our local community in Decorah has stepped up to help the family out, but so have surrounding communities, states and beyond. Donations have come from as far as Seattle and Norway.

A special thank you to the Iowa State Patrol, Decorah Fire Dept, Iowa Motor Vehicle Enforcement, Decorah Police, and Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office who gathered on Dec. 15 to help with some much-needed yard work at the Rude home and assemble the swing set Amanda and Jared had previously purchased as a Santa gift for the girls. Also thank you to Total Tree Care LLC for lending a stump grinder, Casper Plumbing & Heating  for lending a skid loader and Jeff Ode for lending his truck and dump trailer. Jared is an Iowa State Patrol officer in District 10 covering NE Iowa.

Another special thank you goes out to the organizers, volunteers, participants, Decorah Community Schools, New Hampton Community Schools and the businesses who donated at the recent donation challenge during the basketball games between Decorah and New Hampton.

Community Insurance of Iowa in New Hampton offered to donate $5 for every point scored by both the New Hampton boys and girls varsity teams against Decorah. They then challenged any Decorah business to do the same with multiple businesses in both New Hampton and Decorah accepting the challenge. There was also a 3-pointer contest during halftime and donations were accepted during the games. All proceeds went to the Jared Rude Recovery Fund at Decorah Bank to help with medical expenses. Jared’s brother Jason Rude teaches in the New Hampton school district and he and his family reside in New Hampton.

The following Decorah businesses: Finholt Construction; Mabe’s Pizza; Decorah Electric; Johanningmeier Stone; T-Bock’s; V&V Insurance; Steve’s Car Care; Dental Associates of Decorah; Decorah Bank & Trust; Bodensteiner Implement – Decorah; Rotocast Plastics; and Grizzley Coolers.

New Hampton businesses and  individuals: Community Insurance; Chickasaw Ambulance Service; C & E Lane, Inc.; Holthaus Chiropractic/Holthaus Construction; Tri-Mark Corporation; Bodensteiner Implement – New Hampton; and Mike and Amy Lockie.

Additionally, we would like to thank Culver’s of Decorah for hosting a fundraiser on the evening of Dec. 15 in which 10 percent of the proceeds went to the recovery fund.  

Sixteen Luther student athletes volunteered to help deliver orders to cars and tables during the event as well. A big thank you to Fareway for accepting donations at each register in their store last week and Letterwerks for managing and printing the #369Strong T-shirts that were for sale through Dec. 25 with all profits going to the fund.

Polish Me Pretty with Taylor is donating 100 percent of the proceeds of two special nail-polish kits to aid in medical expenses. Owner, Taylor Amundson, is the sister in law to Amanda Rude. 

Big Canoe Lutheran Church and Sunday School held a fundraiser on Dec. 15 as part of the Christmas celebration. The students held their Christmas program during service then offered a brunch afterwards where free-will donations were accepted. Lefse and lutefisk were also sold. The food was donated by Thrivent. 

Big Canoe Church is the church the Amundson family grew up attending. We’d also like to thank Tati Rude, aunt of Jared’s, for donating part of the proceeds from any Zumba class passes purchased before Jan. 1 and Lularoe with Trisha Stortz who donated a portion of each sale through Dec. 20 to the fund.

In addition to the organizations and individuals listed above, we would like to extend a big thank you to the staff at Gundersen Clinic of La Crosse for their expert care of Jared, Decorah EMS for their quick response and care, Wisconsin State Patrol, Minnesota State Patrol, La Crosse Police Dept, Winona Co. sheriff deputies, Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Chicago Police Dept., for the donations and visiting Amanda and the Rude family at the hospital.

Another big thank you to Johnson Braund Inc. of Seattle for the generous donation towards Jared’s recovery.  We’d also like to thank Team Blue of Iowa and Sunflower Childcare & Preschool for their donation towards childcare expenses. Amanda is a teacher at Postville Community School, therefore we wanted to thank the staff, faculty, students and families for supporting Amanda as she takes leave.  

Last, but not least, we’d like to thank every individual who has shared the story, donated to the Jared Rude Recovery fund at Decorah Bank or through the Go Fund Me account setup online. Any omission from this list is unintentional with our deepest apologies. 

Anna Oksnevad

(sister of Amanda)

Minneapolis, Minn.