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Benefit planned for Wadena area shooting victim

Angie Templin and her son, Zander

Last October, Angie Templin was shot in her home by her ex-boyfriend. The bullet he fired passed through her hand, entering her pelvis. He then turned the gun on himself.

Ever since then, Templin has been fighting to take back a normal life - and she has been winning.

With the support of her young son, Zander, Templin has been working gradually toward recovery. The end goal is for her to return to her job in Dietary at Tri-County Health Care (TCHC), but the way back has offered plenty of challenges for her. She's been able get around without a wheelchair only since the beginning of January.

"Hopefully, I can get rid of crutches pretty soon too," Templin said.

As she regains strength in her wounded hand, Templin has had to learn how to use her left hand for countless everyday tasks. For example, she can't turn a key in a car ignition because that would mean using the wrist of her right hand.

"It's just little things that you don't think of," she said.

The struggle for normalcy extended beyond just Templin. Her son, Zander, had to stay at his grandparents' house for more than a month while his mother recuperated in the hospital, which Templin said was hard. Zander has been strong, she said.

"He's a tough little boy," Templin said. "He's glad that his mom's home, that's for sure.

Through it all, Templin has been buoyed by the support of friends and loved ones who have taken Zander to school, as well as given food and Christmas presents.

"It can make you think that the world is a terrible place when something like this happens," she said. "But when you see all the amazing things that come out of it too ... it makes it bearable."

Medley Shamp has known Templin since before high school. A fellow TCHC employee, she and Templin are distantly related to each other through mutual cousins.

Shamp described the feeling of seeing her friend inch toward recovery.

"Angie's such an independent person, an active person, that to be confined to a bed for many weeks, and then finally the wheelchair ... physically and emotionally, definitely a struggle," she said.

Shamp and a group of Templin's friends have organized a benefit to help with the financial cost of medical care and recovery time. Helping them is Jean Shaw, community education coordinator at Bertha schools. Because of her role in community education and her involvement with the area Lions club, Shaw has helped with 12 different benefits. This one, however, is special for her.

"I commend this young lady for going through everything, and with such a smile ... and gratitude that she was even still alive," Shaw said.

The benefit is planned for Friday at Bertha Community Center. Featured events include a silent auction, a "split the pot" lottery, walking tacos and sandwiches from 4-8 p.m. A DJ-hosted dance will also take place from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., with refreshments provided by Long Pines Bar and Restaurant in Bertha.