Fundraiser planned to help Jeff Cote with expenses from accident

Mike Bellmore, Features Editor
Jeff Cote

Jeff and Patty Cote are discovering just how many friends they've got in Devils Lake.

A French toast and sausage benefit brunch is being planned for the Cote family Feb. 28 at St. Joseph's Fellowship Hall.

The community is rallying around the family after Jeff, a self-employed carpenter, fell off a ladder last fall and injured both legs.

“I was putting in a storm window after I had removed an air conditioner,” Cote says.

“I fell onto the sidewalk and a garden hose, broke my right ankle and dislocated my left foot,” Cote explains.

The accident has put Cote on the shelf since October. His recovery has been slow and tedious but he has progressed to using just one crutch now.

A problem remains with one ankle that needs to be loosened up, he says. But he's confident that will happen soon.

Being in the carpentry business, Cote is accustomed to being on his feet.

He says not being able to be on his feet during the long, cold winter months has been very frustrating.

“But it's coming – day by day,” he adds.

Cote is a member of the Lake Region Search & Rescue team as well and he says Dave Oehlke has been leading that group's charge to help out.

His wife, Patty, works at Prairie View Elementary and her co-workers have been lending a helping hand, too.

“It's really great to have so many friends but Devils Lake has always been so good at this sort of thing,” Cote adds.

“It has been a long, long winter being on the shelf like this, but we've gotten so much help from the entire community, much of it anonymous. And the cards and letters have really been uplifting. It all helps so much.”

All of the proceeds from the brunch will go toward Cote's medical expenses.

Serving will run from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.