A fundraising event benefiting 11-year-old Angelica Haakenson of Anchor Point and including a spaghetti meal and a silent and call-out auction is drawing more attention than organizers and family members anticipated. The event happens at Chapman School gym in Anchor Point at 1 p.m. Sunday.
“It’s kind of mind-boggling when you need a trailer to pick up things from all the people who are thinking about her,” said Emily Haakenson, Angelica’s aunt.
That’s exactly what event organizer Kayla Tennison of Anchor Point will do later this week.
“I have to make a trip to Soldotna with a truck and trailer because there’s so much stuff in Soldotna right now,” said Tennison. “My dining room is full. My shop is getting full. There’s such a huge variety of stuff from people just wanting to help the family. It’s amazing.”
Angelica and her mother, Mathany Satterwhite, 29, were at milepost 145.5 of the Sterling Highway on Christmas Day when they experienced problems with their vehicle, a 1994 Toyota pickup, according to the Alaska State Troopers. Nathan Sargeant, also of Anchor Point, pulled his van in front of the pickup to jumpstart it. The pickup had no operable lights; Sargeant’s van had one headlight. Larry Pyatt of Anchor Point didn’t see the pickup, only the van’s headlight. He began to skid on the ice-and slush-covered road as he slowed, striking the pickup.
Satterwhite was thrown into the ditch by the impact and suffered serious injuries. Angelica was pinned between the van and the pickup. Her injuries were life-threatening. Sargeant and Pyatt suffered minor injuries.
The four individuals were transported to South Peninsula Hospital. Angelica and Satterwhite were later medevaced to Providence Hospital. Angelica sustained multiple spinal fractures and damage to her legs that resulted in amputation of both legs above the knees.
“She’s had her sixth surgery since Christmas,” Haakenson told the Homer News on Tuesday.
A ramp has been set up next to Angelica’s hospital bed and “she’s been able to use her arms to scoot back and forth. It’s exhausting to learn how to do it, but there’s been a lot of progress this week,” said Haakenson.
Angelica has visited with friends via FaceTime, including Tennison’s daughter, Kristina. She also had a special guest, her dog.
“That really boosted her spirits,” said Haakenson, who expects Haakenson will be moved to another facility before month’s end to be fitted with prosthetics.
Her story has caught the attention of communities across the Kenai Peninsula and beyond, as evidenced by the outpouring of items for Sunday’s auction and including six boxes of items made by inmates at the Spring Creek Correctional Facility in Seward.
After announcing she needed help with salads for Sunday’s spaghetti dinner, Tennison said Peterkin Distributors of Kenai volunteered. Kenai grocery store Three Bears also told Tennison, “Any last minute shopping stuff, come see us. We’ll take care of it.”
Auction donations can be left at Chapman School in Anchor Point and Down East Saloon on East End Road.
An online fundraising site, gofundme.com, set up shortly after the Christmas day wreck, also continues to draw attention. As of Tuesday, it had raised more than $62,000.
“There have been almost 20,000 views. That’s incredible,” said Haakenson. “There are so many people that are following this, people who had something happen to them and want to pay back for what they received, people who donated on behalf of someone, who donated their football pool winnings, who are praying for her. People that want to help my family. It just really makes you thankful for the kindness.”
Spaghetti feed, auction for Angelica Haakenson
1 p.m. Sunday, Chapman School, Anchor Point
Auction items can be left at Chapman School in Anchor Point or at Down East Saloon on East End Road. The event is coordinated by Kayla Tennison, 235-6898 or 756-3434.
• Donations benefiting Angelica Haakenson can be made at www.gofundme.com/jc001c or the Angelica Haakenson Fund, Wells Fargo account 2413583861.
• Cards can be sent to Angelica Haakenson at Children’s Hospital at Providence, 3200 Providence Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508.