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Benefit planned for Onalaska police officer who lost house in fire

By Martha Boehm, mboehm@wkbt.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:38:30 AM CST
Updated On: Sep 05 2013 11:16:37 PM CDT

Onalaska Police Officer Dan McCluskey with his wife Megan and their son Aidan.

ONALASKA, WI -

A benefit will be held on November 2 to help Onalaska K-9 Police Officer Dan McCluskey and his family after a fire destroyed their house on July 29.

The fire happened on the last day of Officer McCluskey’s wife’s chemotherapy treatment. Megan was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in April.

Onalaska police say when Megan was diagnosed with breast cancer and began treatment she was no longer eligible to be a kidney donor for their 14-year-old son, Aidan. He had been awaiting a transplant since he was a small child. The plan was to wait until Aidan was in his mid-teens and have his mother be the donor.

"Dan, Meg and Aidan are family to us," Onalaska Police Officer Lisa Gerbig said. "I was at the fire and saw the devastation first-hand. The people in our department immediately wanted to do something to help. That’s when the McCluskey Fund was established."

Financial donations can be mailed to The McCluskey Fund C/O of the Bank of Galesville, PO Box 94, Trempealeau, WI 54661.

"We wanted to do more because the McCluskeys are a family who have contributed greatly to their community and to Onalaska," Officer Gerbig said. "So when we were approached about doing a benefit we immediately said yes."

On November 2, there will be a benefit for the McCluskey family at the Holmen Legion from 3-10 p.m. There will be silent auctions, a pie auction, live auctions, food and numerous raffles.

"This is an intensely private family," Onalaska Police Chief Jeffrey Trotnic said. "If it had just been the fire and Megan’s cancer I know Officer McCluskey would never have agreed to allow a benefit be held in his name but all three at once? There is a saying that we should all pay it forward. With the McCluskeys, it’s not a matter of paying it forward; it’s a matter of paying it back and as typical of this community, I am seeing people come together to rally support for Dan and Meg."

If you’re interested in donating items for the silent auction, contact Carrie Pohjola at (608) 865-0454 or at McCluskeyBenefit@gmail.com. A Facebook page has also been created for the benefit: https://www.facebook.com/McCluskeyBenefit

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