Community comes together to help graduating senior

By Adelle Whitefoot

After losing everything he owns in a house fire this month, Calvin Luhrsen is getting help from the community as he prepares to go off to college.
The Luhrsen home in Duluth Township caught fire on May 6 while Calvin was playing in a baseball game in Two Harbors. When the community got wind of the tragedy, they wanted to do whatever they could to help them out. Calvin is a busy senior at Two Harbors. He plays football in the fall, basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring as well as being apart of Two Harbors DECA chapter. Two Harbor High School principal Jay Belcastro said Calvin is a well-known, respected kid.
“He’s helped so many people through his work with DECA, and I think the people that he has touched just want to do something to give back,” Belcastro said.
According to Belcastro, Calvin lost everything in the fire, including his new laptop and supplies for college this fall. The Luhrsen family pets also weren’t able to be saved. The Calvin Luhrsen Fire Fund, set up at Wells Fargo in Two Harbors, is to help pay for whatever he may need for college next year.
“When I spoke to his dad, they family didn’t feel that they wanted a big spaghetti dinner fundraiser, or something else along those lines, because they had insurance on the home,” Belcastro said. “But he did say Calvin needed things for college and would be OK with us helping him out.”
Since the fire, Belcastro said that administration has been keeping an eye on Calvin and checking into with him to see if he needs anything. To Belcastro’s amazement, for someone who has just gone through a tragedy, he said Calvin’s demeanor has not changed and that has showed his true character.
“He’s still the very positive and supporting young man that he always is,” Belcastro said. “Who he is as a human being hasn’t changed.”
The idea for the fund came from numerous people who just wanted to help, but Sue Bott did the paperwork and set up the account for him at Wells Fargo. Bott’s son participates in DECA, baseball, football and basketball with Calvin, and him losing everything his senior year of high school is what she finds the most devastating.
“We wanted to do something to help him because he is just a great kid and they are a great family,” Bott said “They are always volunteering and always helping out. Calvin’s mom even bakes cookies for the team to eat on the bus.”
Those cookies gave the school and idea to start the fund. The school had a Cookies for Calvin fundraiser last week, where they sold cookies at lunch time to help raise money. The fund was opened at the Wells Fargo in Two Harbors, and Calvin will be able to access the funds before he goes off to college at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul this fall.
To donate, drop a donation off at Calvin Luhrsen’s Fire Fund at the Wells Fargo in Two Harbors, or send by mail to 622 1st Ave., Two Harbors, MN 55616, Attention: Calvin Luhrsen’s Fire Fund. People will be able to put money into the account until October, at which time the account will be closed and the funds will be given to Calvin to help with college expenses.