Monday, June 1, 2020


A bowling party at Bunkie's Grill & Lanes of Blooming Prairie turned into a giant-sized Christmas present opening party for Jaxon Harberts and his father Brandon.

It was the Best Christmas Ever, a non-profit 501©3 organization, that brought more than 100 gifts for Jaxon and Brandon. 

Rachel Harberts, a first grade teacher at the Blooming Prairie Elementary School, her son Jaxon and her daughter Emerson were enroute to school on Friday, Sept. 7 when they were involved in a car crash.

Emerson died instantly at the scene and her mother died six days later of injuries suffered in the crash.

Local BP resident Amy Simon nominated Jaxon and his father to receive a Best Christmas Ever surprise. The organization received 700 letters of application and was able to respond to 200 of them.

Tasha Gilbertson, a close friend of Rachel Harberts and her college roommate, said Brandon's family was the first picked.

Representatives of Best Christmas Ever met up with friends of Jaxon and Brandon in the parking lot of Farmers & Merchants State Bank. The entourage then paraded to Bunkie's where they crashed the bowling party and caught Jaxon and Brandon totally by surprise.

This program is designed "to lift up families that have fallen upon tough times to no fault of their own," said Jason Kunz, one of the founders of Best Christmas Ever with Dr. James R. Midboe. The non-profit organization was founded in 2011.

Jaxon and his dad, Brandon, opened up every present as an estimated crowd of 80 looked on in the golfing simulator room of Bunkie's.

See full story in this week’s print edition or subscribe online. Please subscribe here or current subscribers can login here.

Steele County Times & DCI

Steele County Times
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917

Dodge County Independent
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944


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