Residents of Dickinson came out by the hundreds to support local barber Matt Ellerkamp, a father of five who was diagnosed with an L frontal lobe brain tumor on May 17, 2020.
The medical benefit was held at West River Ice Center, June 24, and the money collected will be used to offset the financial costs of his treatment, which included surgery and radiation.
Ellerkamp is a co-owner of de Porres House of Barbering and Lounge with his brother Paul. The barbershop closed early so the staff could attend the benefit, which included a silent auction, live auction, taco bar, beer and win and live entertainment.
The overwhelming support from the community gained the attention of executives at GoFundMe, who had contacted The Press with the news that the family's GoFundMe page had generated nearly $11,000 in the first 24 hours.
Since then, the page has reached $21,105 donations from 183 donors and nearly 2,000 people have shared it.
“The support of my family and friends, the community and friends from school has been overwhelming. It’s so overwhelming it’s humbling, and I can’t even articulate my appreciation,” Matt Ellerkamp told The Press in May.
Paul Ellerkamp was also taken aback by the support shown by the area community toward his brother during this challenging time.
“The community of friends and family we have that have continued to keep Matt in their thoughts and prayers, as well as those who have donated money in such a challenging time with COVID have been amazing,” he told The Press in May. “From meals and encouraging messages, to people stopping into our shop to say they are here to support us has been amazing.”
Donations can be made to Matt Ellerkamp through GoFundMe by visiting the website here; or funds can be donated at any Gate City Bank through the Matt Ellerkamp medical fund. In addition to those sources, donations are being accepted at de Porres House of Barbering at 17 2nd Ave W., in Dickinson.
Saturday, June 27, de Porres will host live music performed by Brady Paulson during the Schell's Brewery Tap Takeover, starting at 5 p.m. The cost is $50 and includes eight different tap beers and food.