By Kimberly Foley. CREATED Jul 19, 2014
Pilger, NE - For one month, the village of Pilger has been faced with the daunting task of cleaning and rebuilding from a powerful tornado.
This weekend, though, residents had a chance to kick back and forget the storm.
"We're not going to let two tornadoes knock us down," said Colby Koehlmoos, who was born and raised in Pilger. "We're just going to keep on going."
This weekend, Pilger Days took place at Pilger Park.
Their smiles and laughter reflect a town full of perseverance and hope, but on the other side of 2nd Street, it's a very different Pilger.
"Every day is a new challenge," said Liz Raabe, who was also born and raised in Pilger.
Rabbe now lives in Omaha, but her parents still live there.
"It's kind of survivor's remorse," she said. "We have a house. We didn't have to pack everything up. My parents are on the edge where there is nothing really left after them."
Raabe and Koehlmoos are two of the many raising money this weekend to rebuild their small village.
"It's just what you do," said Koehlmoos. "It's your hometown. You just want to be there for your town, family and friends."
Everyone came together for mud volleyball, a barbecue and the big event: tasing Stanton County Sheriff Mike Unger.
He agreed to do it if $1,000 was raised on Saturday.
The person who donated the most got to pull the trigger. The winning contribution was $200.
"Well, whether I'm foolish or stupid, I don't know," said Unger.
Village Board Chairman Jim Duncan said the outpouring of support has been overwhelming.
"If you can imagine a town of 350, and 1,800 people help you clean up," he said. "It's just fantastic."
Despite the loss these resilient people are facing, their spirits and community have gained so much.
"The sign: too tough to die," said Duncan. "Why give anything up for a little tornado?"
Festivities wrap up Sunday. Events begin at 9 a.m. with a community church service at Pilger Park.