Friends and relatives of David and Katie Vanderstappen have pulled together to help raise money and coordinate daily meals for the family after a devastating fire destroyed the dairy farm’s barn.
A donation page aiming to raise $10,000 had raised more than $6,200 as of Thursday afternoon.
“On the morning of June 19th, the Vanderstappen dairy farm experienced a horrible tragedy,” the page reads. “Their barn caught fire and burnt to the ground. Miraculously, all of the animals were saved, and no one was hurt. This farm is their livelihood, and they are devastated. Katie and Dave Vanderstappen own the farm and live there with their three small children. They are expecting twins in August! Please show your support for this local farm family.”
Resident can visit the page at social.fund/hwfgiu to donate.
A “meal train” also has been established to provide meals to the family through the months of June and July. Residents looking to help can visit the page at www.mealtrain.com/trains/l9zd9r.
So far, people have donated tacos, lasagna, tater tot casseroles and more.
Firefighters were dispatched at 4:52 a.m. Tuesday to Vanderstappen Farms in the 12000 block of Hebron Road, Spring Grove Fire Chief Rich Tobiasz said. When crews arrived, they found the farm’s old barn engulfed in flames – an incident that caused more than $250,000 in damage.
Firefighters used a bulldozer and crawler with backhoe to pull apart the main structure to put out hot spots and smoldering straw, Hebron-Alden-Greenwood Fire Protection District officials said.
The cause of the fire remains undetermined, but authorities said the blaze is not suspicious.
Cattle trailers joined fire trucks on the property to take the farm’s cows to the Kooistra Dairy Farm in Woodstock. None of the 93 cows were harmed, and no people were injured, but the barn was a total loss, officials said.
Jim Vanderstappen’s father opened the farm on Hebron Road in 1942. Jim Vanderstappen was 9 when he moved to the farm, and he sold the farm to his son, David, in March 2016.