NAPPANEE — A tragic accident is bringing the local community together through a fundraiser race being held to benefit a Nappanee family.
July 3 David Borkholder, a local dairy farmer and father of five, was somehow caught between a barbed-wire fence and his horse-drawn hay bin while mowing his hay field. Because there were no witnesses to the accident (though people were at the scene very shortly after it happened), the exact cause of the accident is unknown.
“He hit his head on both sides somewhere along the line and had a concussion,” explained his brother Floyd Borkholder. “He broke some ribs and it crushed his lung.”
Since that fateful date, David has been in a coma, and has been transferred from (initially) Memorial Hospital in South Bend, to Lakeland Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Milford, and then four weeks ago was transferred to IU Health Goshen Hospital and then another facility in Fort Wayne before coming to RiverCrest Specialty Hospital in Mishawaka, his wife Vonda at his side.
Their children: Miranda, Jennifer, Dwight, Kevin, Ashley (ranging in age from 15 to 1) have been staying at home with family and friends watching over them — seeing their mother only a couple times a week — at most.
“He owns a farm, with milking cows,” Floyd explained of his brother’s family’s livelihood. “He was milking about 55 cows but that couldn’t be done without him so they’ve been sold. He still has some young livestock that will be coming around (for milking purposes) in about six months or so.”
He said the fundraiser race will hopefully help the family while his brother recuperates. The race was something Floyd and people he knew came up with, and as a runner himself —he ran his first half-marathon this fall at the Apple Festival at Amish Acres — simply made sense.
A benefit auction is also being organized and is planned for Friday, Dec. 14, also at Borkholder Dutch Village. The race however will be held Saturday, Nov. 10 and consists of a flat course with a water stop available along the path. Restrooms will be made available near the registration area. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., the race beginning at 9 a.m. at Borkhholder Dutch Village, 700 N. Tomahawk Trail (also C.R. 101 — approximately a half-mile north of U.S. 6 in Nappanee).
Because the event is a fundraiser, racing enthusiasts should realize, it is not the typical “race.”
“We’re having it as fun run so may not have timing, and if we do, it will be just for general, personal time,” said event director Mark Riege. “There will be 5K run and walk, and a 3K as well for those that may not want to run that far. As it is a fundraiser, it’s a laid-back, no-pressure event. There are no prizes, no T-shirts given away, and no age categories, but participants will receive a commemorative mug (while supplies last).”
Riege said there may be snacks available and door prizes after the race and described how he became involved with the fundraiser.
“I was director for the Apple Festival races and he (Floyd) had ran in the race,” Riege explained. “He emailed and asked me if I would be willing to set up this race for his brother. It’s something I enjoy and have done often in the past so decided to help generate money to assist the family.”
Riege said he has been a fan of running since 1996 when he fell in love with it, ironically it replacing a former physical activity he enjoyed.
“I loved caving but was at this one that I couldn’t fit into. I got mad at myself and made it a goal to lose weight to fit in it, and got fit by running,” he said. “I’ve run for cystic fibrosis, the NorthWood Band race for four years and done the Apple Festival for eight to 10 years.”
Those interested in being involved can send an entry form and a check for $20 before Oct. 31, or $25 after, made payable to the David Borkholder Children’s Fund, and mail to: Borkholder Children 5K, Mark Riege, director, 28819 C.R. 42, Wakarusa, IN, 46573. For more information, contact Riege via email at email@example.com .
Monetary donations can also be made to the family (checks made out to the David Borkholder Family Fund) at Interra Credit Union in Nappanee, and food and other donations can be given to David and Floyd’s parents Alvin and RuthAnn Borkholder (781 Plymouth-Goshen Trail) for the family.