by Jim Boyle
Alan Sakry, a well-known businessman and community leader, became the center of attention last week at a benefit in his honor that attracted nearly 1,000 people and raised $53,838 to help continue his recovery from a Jan. 10 stroke.
Money raised will cover medical bills not covered by insurance, as well as
modifications being made to the mortgage broker’s Elk River home to make it handicap accessible.
It was unclear to most guests whether Sakry would be able to make it to the event at the Crown Room in Rogers, but it was announced at the event that he was there and would be rolling into the banquet space in less than five minutes.
Hundreds of people who were in attendance at the time anxiously awaited.
With his wife, Diane, by his side and surrounded by his family, he made a grand entrance and took time to say a few words.
Some were computer generated; when he hit the play button it rattled off a recorded voice that said he liked to jump into frozen lakes. It got a hearty response of laughter and was played again.
Alan also managed to say a few things, despite the damage a stroke did to his ability to speak. There was hardly a dry eye in the room, including Alan’s eyes.
His sister Deb (Sakry) Lande noted the impact Alan has had in Minnesota and now around the world with Caring Bridge. She also spoke on his behalf.
“Thank you so much for the outpouring of support you have given me,” Lande said for her brother. “Many of you have told me that I am an inspiration to you, and I happy to hear that I can give back in that way. But the gap that I’ve left as I recover from my stroke leaves opportunity for many of you to lean into that space and help others in ways you’ve never imagined.”
A silent auction brought in $22,000 and the rest came in from a live auction, corporate matches and sales of tickets, shirts, bracelets and hand-painted wine glasses.
Corporate sponsors included Sherburne County Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, The Chuba Co., Mortgages Unlimited and Purpose Driven Restoration.