SHEBOYGAN -- The Port Washington community came together, raising more than $1,700 collected at the high school homecoming football game on Friday, Oct. 18, and at youth games on Saturday, Oct. 19, for Dillon Bohenstengel. The eighth-grader, a member of the Sheboygan North Junior Raiders, was hurt in a crash near Sheboygan North High School Saturday, Oct. 12.
Scott Schaefer, the president of Sheboygan Youth Football, posted an update on Facebook Sunday, Oct. 20, indicating he spoke with Bohenstengel's mother on Saturday, and she indicated her son had three surgeries, with one more to go. Schaefer said Bohenstengel would remain at Children's Hospital for "several more weeks," and once he returns home, he would require a wheelchair "for some time." Schaefer said, "Our efforts are still needed to help with these mounting expenses," noting that Bohenstengel's mother was staying at the Ronald McDonald House to be with her son.
Sheboygan Youth Football teams played in Port Washington Saturday, and Schaefer said he was invited by the president of the Port Gridiron Club and the president of the Port Washington Youth Football Club to receive the more than $1,700 collected for Bohenstengel. Schaefer said they collected approximately $860 at the high school homecoming game on Friday and the games on Saturday, and that was matched. In addition to the money, Schaefer said the "first-class organization" also presented him with a poster that every high school player and youth player signed for Bohenstengel.
Schaefer said they were working to open a bank account for those who would prefer to donate that way.
A GoFundMe.com account was previously set up to raise money for Bohenstengel's medical bills. Schaefer said as of Sunday, 125 people donated.
He said people wishing to send cards or notes of encouragement to Bohenstengel can do so by dropping the items off at Scotty Landscaping Supply at 3823 Enterprise Drive in Sheboygan, and they will be forwarded to Bohenstengel and his family.
Bohenstengel, 13, was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries after being struck by a car near Sheboygan North High School on Oct. 12. It happened moments after the Sheboygan North Junior Raiders won their final game of the season against the rival Sheboygan South Junior Redwings.
"It was so tragic," said Justin Manning, head football coach for the Sheboygan North Junior Raiders.
Manning said amid the celebration, Bohenstengel, a middle linebacker, was putting his football gear in the trunk of a car.
That is when Sheboygan police said a 16-year-old driver plowed through an intersection, hitting three parked cars on 13th Street near School Avenue, and eventually crashing into Bohenstengel.
"It was a roller coaster of emotions for everyone involved," Manning said.
The eighth-grader was rushed to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin by helicopter.
Manning said in jersey #41, Bohenstengel is a role model to his teammates.
"Wherever we put him, he plays with great effort and intensity," Manning said.
Despite the crash, the coach said days later, Bohenstengel had already set his sights set on making the next play.
"I really think Dillon, given his perseverance, he will use this as a platform to continue the sport as he recovers," Manning said. "We are blessed and thankful Dillon is in the position he is. He has his life; he has his opportunity for recovery."
Sheboygan police said the 16-year-old driver was arrested.