Jan 242007
Authors: Jenna Lynn Ellis

Phone-wielding students in the Berthoud community have raised more than $54,000 in pledges to help support two high school boys who lost their legs in a car crash earlier this month.

Alicia Lentz, a sophomore at Berthoud High School, took pledges on her cell phone.

“A lot of people are being very generous,” she said. “Everyone I’ve talked to has tried to donate something.”

These donations will be added to the medical fund for Tyler Carron and Nikko Landeros, both 17-year-old Berthoud High School students who lost their legs on Jan. 15 when they were struck by another vehicle on Larimer County Road 17.

On Tuesday, more than 300 BHS students turned out to take pledges on their cell phones from 7 to 10 p.m., using their free evening calling plans. Organizers gave each volunteer a card with about 20 names from the Berthoud phone book.

Lindsay Martin, a sophomore open-option major, said, “It is surprising, I don’t even know how to describe these feelings. It’s not so hard when you don’t even know who it is, but when it is so close it is so unreal.”

The Limb Preservation Foundation, a Colorado non-profit organization, and BHS students, staff and community citizens organized the phone-a-thon. The event was also designed to help classmates of the injured students feel that they were contributing positively.

“We wanted to get the kids actively involved,” said event organizer Martha Simmons. “We can get them to buy in and feel redeemed if all of us can say, ‘I did something.’ We couldn’t save the boys’ legs, but we can still help a lot.”

The Berthoud Fire Department also joined the effort. BFD Captain Josh Brown was among the volunteers.

“We heard about it and wanted to do something,” he said. “The kids are in our community and they’re our family. The fire district really cares about our kids. We’re part of everything else they do and we want to be a part of this. We want them to know they can count on us.”

Earlier this week, a 13-year-old girl auctioned off her prize pig for $35,000 at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. The proceeds went to the two Berthoud teens.

“It’s been amazing to see the support from the fire department, town administrators and others,” said Dee Dee Broes, another event organizer from the limb foundation.

The Berthoud Cares Campaign, an organization that will help additional fundraising efforts for Carron and Landeros, has also made contributions toward the fundraising efforts.

The group is set to host a fundraising comedy event and silent auction at the Budweiser Events Center, its director said.

The Berthoud Cares Campaign is currently accepting donations for Carron and Landeros and also lists an address to send cards or gifts. Visit www.berthoudcares.com or call (303) 330-5555 for more information.

Staff writer Jenna Lynn Ellis can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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