Benefit held to help families of plane crash victims - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Hundreds came out for benefit to remember men they knew as "pillars of strength"

Nearly a hundred items were donated for the silent auction to benefit the families of the Correctionville plane crash. Nearly a hundred items were donated for the silent auction to benefit the families of the Correctionville plane crash.

It's been nearly 3 months since the plane crash in Correctionville claimed the lives of three men.  But, their friends and family say the men meant so much to the community that they're still dealing with the void they left behind.    

"These three men were pillars of our community," Kevern Koskovich said.

Koskovich was close friends with all three who died in the crash.

"They were three of the finest gentlemen you could ever meet, honest, honorable," Koskovich said.

"He was always there to help, if the community needed something, if an individual needed something Jim would be there to support them," Gaylen Goettsch said.

"In a small town everybody knows everybody and with somebody like Gaylen, Correctionville in particular, he was just instrumental in everything," Bill Forbes said.

"It was hard to understand what had happened," Deb Jeffrey said.

And like Gaylen Knaack had done so many times before to fundraise for community projects, friends put together a pancake breakfast and silent auction to benefit Knaack's family and the family of Lee Schroeder and James Smith.

"It is the community's way of showing them love and respect," Koskovich said.

Lee Schroeder's brother says he's touched that so many people have reached out to him.

"I guess if there's anything positive that comes out from this, is the community's support, situations like this are never great. Just to see the kind of people, what Lee did to the community as far as the friendships has been amazing," Patrick Schroeder said.

And while the communities that knew these men are still grieving their loss, they say their spirits will uplift them.

"Each of these men in their own way left a guide map for all of us to follow," Koskovich said.

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