Over 12 days in December, KML’s Student Council and National Honor Society work to collect money through student involvement to support families in need. Parents, federation members, alumni, friends, and the community are encouraged to donate as well.

In 2023 we raised money to help the Gerlach, Hovorka, Lindenberg, and Praefke families. The total raised in 2023 was over $49,000!

Three of the four families were able to join us in person on January 17, 2024, after our chapel service for a special presentation during which they were gifted their checks.

Thank you to Coffeeville Company for partnering with us again this year to support this program through the coffee fundraiser, and THANK YOU TO ALL WHO GAVE SO GENEROUSLY to help this year’s 12 Days families. What a wonderful way to share the love of our Savior through our actions!

Learn more about our 2023 families.

12 Days Families for 2023

Gerlach Family

We are the Gerlach family, Jeremy, Lisa, Jack (18), and Alexis (13). Jeremy is a KML alumnus, class of 1994. He and his wife have been married for 21 years. Alexis is in 8th grade at Slinger Middle School. Jack is a senior at Slinger High School, a captain of the wrestling team, and was participating in a work study program as a pre-apprentice for an electrician.

On November 1, 2023, Jack was on his way to work and encountered black ice on Hwy 41. He hit the median and rolled his truck three times and was flown by flight for life to Froedtert Hospital where life saving surgery was performed, removing a portion of his skull to relieve brain swelling. Jack has a severe traumatic brain injury, 3 fractured vertebrae, a broken jaw and nose, and a long recovery ahead of him.

Thank you for keeping us in your prayers.

Hovorka Family

As a healthy college softball player, Gwen Hovorka was diagnosed with Acute Lympohoblastic Leukemia (ALL) during her senior year. In November of 2022, she was immediately flown home and began a three-year extensive chemo treatment. After completing her first phase of treatment in August of 2023, she was in remission and doing very well. However, on September 24, 2023, she passed away unexpectedly, leaving behind her mother, Jessica, and sisters, Emily (KML class of 2024) and Maddie (12). In addition to funeral costs, the expenses from Gwen’s medications during her treatments for leukemia were very expensive.

Our family has been very blessed with the support of the KML family. We are very thankful for the continued prayers during this difficult time.

Lindenberg Family

Becky Lindenberg (nee Gohr) graduated from KMLHS in 1999. She was a member of the National Honors Society, band, choir, and Lutheran Vanguard. She made a number of lifelong Christian friends during her time at Kettle, several of whom joined her at Martin Luther College. Following her graduation from MLC, Becky served her Lord as a called worker at Crown of Life Hubertus, St. John’s Wauwatosa, Christ-St. Peter Lutheran School, and Wisconsin Lutheran College, and volunteered in her congregation St. Peter Lutheran in Milwaukee.

Without any warning, Becky was gathered to her Heavenly Home on October 25 of this year at age 42.  She leaves us with many fond memories and stories of lives she touched with the Gospel message and love. She also leaves behind her family and many friends who will miss her dearly, as well as her ministry responsibilities at Christ-St. Peter Lutheran School where she was serving as Campus Principal.

Becky is survived by her husband, Erik, and her sons Jackson and Joseph. Jackson (15) is a sophomore at Wisconsin Lutheran High School. He is involved with Jazz, Woodwind, and Steel Pan bands there. Joseph is a freshman at University of Wisconsin Madison. He intends to major in education and minor in mathematics, and he is involved in Wisconsin Singers as well as Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel.

We are humbly grateful for having been selected for the Twelve Days of Christmas service project. Thank you for your efforts and encouragement through prayer.

Praefke Family

Jason Praefke attended KML and played soccer and participated in several school plays. He graduated in 1997 and attended Whitewater University. He always appreciated KML, its faculty, and the friends he made along the way.

Jason met his wife Susy while in college, and they married in 2004. Jason was the director of operations at Racine Metal Fabrication. They have 2 children, Wyatt (14) and Elisabeth (13). One day Jason discovered he couldn’t open his right hand. After going to the doctor, they discovered he had an inoperable and aggressive brain tumor. The last two years of Jason’s life, he was always positive, loving, and extremely dedicated to his faith, family, and friends. Jason passed away in August 2023 after his courageous battle with stage 4 glioblastoma.