Fundraiser for bartenders in Minneapolis after a car accident in Wisconsin

A post-Christmas tradition turned to tragedy for a group of Minneapolis friends when a fatal car accident changed the lives of everyone involved.

“He led a very happy life,” says Benja Wuest. “That’s my only consolation, because up to this moment he was very content.”

On December 27th, Brandon Wharton, Jacob Charles Eidem, Ben Wuest and Sam Wuest were on their way to enjoy some cabin time. Near Hayward, Wisconsin, near Spooner, another driver crossed the center line and hit the four friends head-on. 32-year-old Brandon Wharton was killed.

“There are some things I don’t want to talk about,” says Eidem. “We are lucky to be alive. Looking at the car, it’s a miracle we got out of it…crawled out.”

Eidem, along with brothers Benja and Sam, suffered serious injuries ranging from a broken hip to internal bleeding and loss of vision, and the list goes on.

“The helicopter ride is about what I earn on average in a year,” says Eidem.

Eidem and Benja are both artists and part-time bartenders at Indeed Brewing Company. Disabled and with off-network medical bills. Indeed organized all the net sales on January 26th to help its two employees. Every Wednesday, Indeed Brewing selects a good cause to benefit from its Indeed We Can program, and the effort takes on a new dimension to help some of them.

“We do our best for part-timers when it comes to benefits, 401,000, but medical supplies are always an issue,” says Indeed CEO Tom Whisenand. “There’s not such a big safety net. And when you run the bar, serve tables, the paychecks stop.”

“We are happy to see how much they have healed,” says organizer and employee Val Schulz. We’re truly grateful for the love that flows through the community.”

Eidem and Benja are grateful for the support and the several thousand dollars already raised online. But what would they give to pour their friend another pint.

“Learning from Brandon, the most grateful person you know? As if we shouldn’t have gotten out of the car,” says Eidem. “It kind of changes perspective on everyone in my life, family and friends, who mean so much more now.”

Fundraising pages have also been set up for Benja and Jacob Charles. Donations made on these sites go directly to them:

GoFundMe for Benja

Fundly for Jacob Charles

January 26 fundraiser details:
WHERE: Indeed Brewing Company (711 NE 15th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55413)
WHEN: Indeed’s taproom is open from 3pm to 11pm

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