Hundreds raise $62K at Fastenal benefit for Isaac Kolstad - KMSP-TV

Hundreds raise $62K at Fastenal benefit for Isaac Kolstad

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Hundreds headed out to cast bids on hundreds of donated items available at live and silent auctions as part of a fundraiser Fastenal organized to benefit injured employee Isaac Kolstad, who was critically injured in a brutal assault. 

"It's one day at a time," Kolstad's uncle, Dan Kafka, said. "We need to focus on Isaac and keep saying prayers."

Organizers told Fox 9 News the number of available items actually doubled even after local sports celebrities donated several game-used items and rare memorabilia to help Kolstad and his family.

The former Minnesota State University-Mankato linebacker who was critically injured in an assault on the city's streets, and he remains hospitalized on life support. On Tuesday, his brother read a statement thanking Fastenal and all benefit attendees for their help. 

By the end of the night, auction attendees had helped raise more than $62,000 for the Kolstad family.


Good afternoon, I'm Abe Kolstad, Isaac's brother. On behalf of our entire family, we would like to thank Fastenal for putting together this event and to you all for coming out to support us in this way. We know Isaac would be so impressed with his Blue Team in accomplishing such an incredible event today.

We cannot begin to express our sincere gratitude to you all for the amazing efforts we've seen to help our family over these last two weeks. It is simply astounding to see so many people -- many we know and even some we don't -- come forth in so many different and creative ways to help out. We are so humbled and very honored to live in such a wonderfully supportive community. We truly thank you all.

Isaac's care team at Mayo Health Care System have been a phenomenal source of comfort and stability for our family. It has been amazing to watch them do everything possible to help Isaac continue his marathon. We are so lucky to have this remarkable healthcare resource in our hometown. 

We will continue to use the Caring Bridge site as the primary source of information regarding Isaac's condition. Isaac's condition is still very critical and considered day to day. We know Isaac hears the positive words of encouragement from the many family and friends who have visited him, have written to us, and have said prayers for him. Please continue to pray for Isaac and all those involved in this incident.

Stay #22strong!

At this time, I will direct any questions to our attorney, Ken White.


The two men accused of assaulting Kolstad -- 21-year-old Trevor Shelley and 20-year-old Phillip Nelson, former quarterback for the Gophers -- are facing criminal charges, but the attorney hired to represent the family told Fox 9 News they are exploring civil suits as well.

"Obviously, there are some issues with some bars that may or may not have served one or more of the individuals," White explained. "There are the people facing prosecution. Beyond that, no idea where it might lead."

The issue of underage drinking has gained steam in recent days. The former football star reportedly smelled of alcohol when he was arrested despite being under the legal drinking limit. Nelson has since been dismissed from the Rutgers football program. 

"It's an incredibly sad situation," White said. 

Nelson's girlfriend, who is also under 21, has already been cited for underage consumption.

White is also tasked with ensuring that all donations to the family end up where they are supposed to, including those from the fundraiser on Wednesday. Kolstad's wife, who is expecting the couple's second child, was also at the fundraiser, but requested not to be photographed.

"Molly is amazingly strong," White said. "I have no idea how she does what she has."


Kolstad began working for Fastenal, located in Mankato, in January -- but in that short span of time, he definitely made an impression on his employer.

When word went out that the guys at Fastenal were looking for items to sell, some impressive items began pouring in -- including:

- A box of cigars from Twins' manager Ron Gardenhire's 1,000th win
- Autographed Ted Williams print
- Baseball bats from Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau
- Jerome Simpson's game-used cleats
- A signed Grandlund jersey from the Minnesota Wild
- A basketball signed by the Minnesota Timberwolves
- A signed football from Bud Grant
- Hand-carved duck decoys

All winning bids will be deposited directly to the Kolstad fund on, which has already raised more than $45,000.

This week, the Kolstad family shared an update on CaringBridge to say that the swelling in Isaac's brain had gone down; however, his neurological activity is unchanged.

The Kolstad family told Fox 9 News the lawyer they have hired will be responsible for multiple things. Among them, any future civil lawsuits and overseeing the money raised to ensure it goes where it is supposed to.

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