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Strangers And Friends Helping Trooper Steen

November 13, 2012, 6:00 PM by Sammi Bjelland

Strangers And Friends Helping Trooper Steen

It has been four weeks since South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Andrew Steen was hit by a car during a suspected drunk driving chase. Tuesday, his family and friends held a fundraiser in Tea and the community is showing up to help.

Steen is receiving a lot of support from his family and friends ever since he was hit while on the job last month.  Now he is getting even more support from people he's never met.

"There's other law enforcement agencies here that may have never worked with Andrew, but they're here getting a hair cut, buying bake sale goods, bidding on the silent auction.  It makes you feel good that you do know that people do care and appreciate the work you do," South Dakota Highway Patrol Sgt. Robert Whisler said.

There were also a few who had worked with him in the past who traveled out of their way just to show they care.

"I came here to support Andrew, Andrew's family, all of Andrew's friends. I worked with Andrew for a number of years before I moved out of the area," Whisler said.

The crash not only affected his loved ones, but also the men and women on the force he serves with.

"I came to the scene after the accident had happened. It was pretty close to home when it's one of the guys you work with," South Dakota Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Swenson said.

Those who know Steen say they are touched by the compassion of the community.

"I don't think most of us had any idea how much people respect the professions we're in and care about the people that are keeping them safe at night," Swenson said.

The fundraiser continues until 7 p.m. Tuesday night at the Artist Hair Studio at 315 N. Heritage Parkway in Tea.

There will also be a silent auction for Steen at Billy Frogs Bar and Grill in Sioux Falls Saturday afternoon from 3 to 7 p.m.

Proceeds from both events will help Steen as he continues his recovery. According to a Facebook page being updated by his family and friends, the trooper is awake and talking and using his iPad to check emails this week.

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