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Paynesville Press - May 21, 2003

Charity benefit to be held for Lake Henry accident victim

By Michael Jacobson

A benefit sponsored by the St. Margaret's Aid Association and the community of Lake Henry will be held on Friday night for Jim Liebl and his family.

The benefit, at Sportsman's Den in Lake Henry, will serve food from 4-9 p.m. with music starting at 10 p.m. and running to 1 a.m. The event will also feature a silent auction and a raffle for a grandfather clock.

Jim Liebl, 20, the son of Dan and Vicki Liebl, is a 2001 graduate of Paynesville Area High School. He was seriously injured in a car accident north of Lake Henry in late February, was airlifted to St. Cloud, and spent three weeks in intensive care at the St. Cloud Hospital.

Liebl now comes home on weekends and can get around in an electric wheelchair. He still faces months of rehabilitation.

In fact, he will be moving soon to the Courage Center in Golden Valley for six months of intensive rehabilitation. His dad hopes that Jim will be able to walk again in a year or so. Then he can turn the wheelchair ramp at their house into a dock.

The benefit is more community support for the family. When Jim was in surgery, his dad counted 37 people in the waiting room.

Three days after the accident, Jim underwent facial reconstruction surgery and a couple days after that he lost the use of his limbs due to swelling in his spinal column, most likely related to his head injury.

Community support for Jim and the family has been so strong following the accident and during his recovery that Vicky would hug the whole town if she could, she told the Press in March.

Jim, raised in Lake Henry, played for the Lake Henry Lakers.

Donations for Jim Liebl are also being accepted in a trust fund at the Central Minnesota Federal Credit Union.

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