Michigan City Reaction To Dunes Rescue
July 17, 2013 — A six-year-old boy who spent nearly three hours buried under a sand dune remains in critical but stable condition. Michigan City became the subject of national attention when Nathan Woessner became trapped under several feet of sand at Mount Baldy on Friday evening. And now… as the boy is recovering at a Chicago area hospital… his parents are reaching out to the city to express their gratitude… and they’re not alone. Sarah Holst spoke with officials about the city’s continuing response to the event.
Six year old Nathan Woessner could be in attendance for the first day of school next month. That possibility is being called a miracle by some… after Nathan spent nearly three hours trapped under sand at Mount Baldy in Michigan City on Friday. Today (Tuesday)… the boy’s family reached out to Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer.
Meer – I spoke with Mr. Woessner, the father of Nathan, and he had given me an update on his condition, and his gratitude to the city of Michigan City, all of our departments, and their professionalism. One of the things he expressed to me was that this wasn’t just an incident that happened to his family, it happened to this community, and this community stepped up.
The mayor says numerous beach-goers stepped in to offer food and water to the rescuers… and nearly every city department with digging equipment or shovels raced to the scene. Meer says the effort was truly impressive… and Indiana’s Governor agreed.
Meer – Governor Mike Pence contacted me and we had about a fifteen minute conversation. He was very complimentary to all these various branches of government, all our departments, basically just saying we made the city of Michigan City and all Hoosiers in the state of Indiana proud.
Meer says the community remains interested in the boy’s recovery. Inquires about donations lead some of the rescuers to the Unity Foundation of LaPorte County… a group which facilitates donations.
Sandy Gleim, Unity Foundation – A group of Michigan City firefighters came to the Unity Foundation office, and they were looking to partner to open a fund to benefit the family, because due to the emergency there are going to be unexpected medical and other costs.
The Foundation accepts online credit card donations through their website… u-f-l-c dot net.
Gleim – People can give any amount, and if they’re not comfortable with a credit card online donation, Unity Foundation our P.O. box is 527, Michigan City, 46361. So people could mail checks if they wanted to. We’re just here as that repository to help out the firefighters and their desire to further support this family. They became very engaged with them during the rescue.
The mayor says once Nathan has fully recovered… the family would like to plan a reunion between the boy and the men and women who pulled him to safety.
Meer – I told him we were there for them, which we are, and I couldn’t be prouder, as a leader of a community, of how everyone performed in this extreme situation.
In Michigan City, Sarah Holst, Lakeshore News.
Mount Baldy… which is one of the most popular attractions at the National Lakeshore… will remain closed indefinitely as state and federal officials investigate how and why the hole formed.