WASECA — As one of many showings of support for wounded Waseca Police Department Officer Arik Matson, local auctioneer Ray Rew is teaming up with the Sweet-Sommers VFW Post 1642 to host a live and silent auction March 14, for which he is now seeking donations.
Rew said all proceeds from the event will go to benefit Matson’s family, as one of many fundraisers that have launched to help gather funds for the officer’s wife and two young children after the 32-year-old was shot in the head while responding to a call earlier this month.
Matson himself remains hospitalized, although the family has been posting regular updates on online journaling platform CaringBridge showing he’s taking steps toward recovery. In an entry from Monday evening, sister-in-law Nicole Matson wrote that he’s breathing on his own with minimal help from a ventilator. A surgery to remove cerebral spinal fluid on Sunday went well, which she called “a step in the right direction,” adding that he still has a long way to go.
As owner of Triple R. Auctioneering, Rew said that when it came time to do his part, the auction benefit was a natural fit.
“I’m a friend to all the policemen in Waseca,” he said, of his motivation for helping out. Rew added that he quickly got in touch with Michelle Kahnke to try and do something at the VFW. “Michelle’s a good friend of mine and she’s a manager at the VFW, so we got together and decided to do it.”
In addition to the two auctions, the March fundraiser will feature a chili feed beforehand, with admission proceeds from the supper also going to benefit the family. The live auction itself isn’t ticketed. Rew said attendees would just have to get a bidding number.
In terms of donations for both auctions, Rew said he’s hoping to get everything together by March 1. He added that there are no restrictions as to what people can give, including cash and gift certificates — the former of which he said would be saved to go directly to the family.
The event itself will be held Saturday, March 14, at the Sweet-Sommers VFW, 113 Elm Ave. E. in Waseca. Both auctions will start at 7 p.m., preceded by a chili feed at 5 p.m. For questions or donations, residents can call Rew at 507-339-1272 or contact Kahnke at the VFW by calling 507-835-1811.