CHISAGO COUNTY, Minn. (KMSP) - Hundreds of people gathered on the frozen waters of Lake Chisago to remember the life of 8-year-old Alan Geisenkoetter Jr. Saturday afternoon.
The ice fishing memorial and fundraiser brought family, friends and complete strangers together as they remembered Alan.
“It’s amazing what this community is doing for a little boy and his family,” said Lauren Swindle, a volunteer at the memorial.
More than $50,000 was raised by the community as they pulled together to provide support for the family.
“It’s one of those things that hit way too close to home and I couldn’t sit there and not do anything,” said another volunteer, Joshua Swindle.
It was a little more than two weeks ago when Alan and his father were setting up for a night of fishing on the very same lake that held his memorial Saturday. That same night, Alan was struck by a snowmobile. The operator, Eric Coleman, was allegedly drunk.
“The yelling and screaming that will always be in the back of my mind, it’s something that won’t ever go away,” said witness Jay Danielson.
Alan died of his injuries on Jan. 31, just days after the accident. Those who knew him described him as a boy who had a love for the outdoors.
“He could be a troublemaker but overall he had so much fun,” said Alan’s grandfather, Al Geisenkoetter. “[I’ll miss] being up north with him. I’m just going to miss him. Period.”
As the family suffers a deep loss, support from the community continues to pour in.
“Life can change at any moment and when it does it’s nice to see there’s a community like this that can come together and help out,” said Danielson.
Alan Geisenkoetter Sr. thanked everyone at the memorial for their support.
Eric Coleman is facing a number of charges. The 45-year-old is out of jail, but yesterday a judge increased his bail to $125,000. He has until Monday to make a payment.