There were hundreds of booths at Woodbury Days. This one was a little different.
When beloved Woodbury little league coach Gary Rinehart was diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer in July, his friends and parents of his players wanted to rally together to support him and his family.
The group decided to hold a fundraising booth at Woodbury Days.
“To have people give back like they did, it’s incredible,” Rinehart said. “It just proves how incredible friendship is.”
Rinehart has lived in Woodbury for 11 years and is the director of the Woodbury Athletic Association Travel Baseball Tournament, WALL Baseball Tournament and the WAA Youth Wrestling director. He also coaches baseball for Northwestern College. They’re all volunteer positions.
The Woodbury Days booth raffled off a tent, Twins tickets and bobble-head dolls. Baseball-themed items were also for sale.
According to Laurie Sund, who was working the booth last weekend, $1,500 was raised during Woodbury Days. And they are not going to stop there.
“We are going to keep going, one fundraiser after the next,” Sund said.
Russ Stafne has coached with Rinehart—who has two sons, TJ, 10, and Brock, 9—for the last two years.
“He is so positive, so knowledgeable—fun guy. The kids love him,” Stafne said.
Sund has children who Rinehart has coached.
“We think the world of him, he has helped the community so we need to help him,” she said.
Rinehart visited the booth on Friday and was “humbled” by what he saw.
“It means the world to me and my family. Now I have to pay them back by fighting what I got,” he said.
Check out the Caring Bridge website for Rinehart at caringbridge.org/garyrinehart