Benefit concert for Jim Unger draws large crowd

By: Sabrina Ahmed 

Months after local gymnastics legend Jim Unger got in a serious bike accident that left him paralyzed, a group is reaching out tonight to help support his family.

The accident was in august. More than three months later, the bills are still rolling in. Tonight, hundreds gathered to support the Unger family.

In mid-August of this year, Jim Unger fell off his bike, hit a pole, and ended up paralyzed.

Months after the tragic accident that changed his life forever, Unger says he's determined to get better.

“My intention is to get up and walk again and get back to normal activities,” he said Sunday.

And after three months of rehab, he is getting better every day.  But as he slowly recovers, the bills keep coming in. 

“There's always more things that come up that we didn't think of that we need to pay for,” Jamie Unger said.

Jim's daughter, Jamie, says it's events like the concert at Sheridan Lutheran, hosted by Pinewood Bowl, that help keep the family afloat.  Not just financially, but emotionally, too.

“I think just for dad to see this outpouring of love—and my mom, too,” Jamie said.

The concert is to help raise money for the Unger Family Trust.  Money that will go toward things like a new dining room table for JUm's wheel chair to fit under, and a lift in their home to help him get up the stair.

While the family says they do need the financial support from the community, they say the most important thing is to see the masses of people that care so much.

“Reflecting on 40 years of teaching—it makes a person kind of really get in touch with how many lives they maybe have affected,” Jim said.

“He said, it's kinda like a funeral but I'm not dead—I just get to see all of the people who love me,” Jamie said.

Persons who will be unable to attend but would like to make a donation on Jim's behalf may mail a check, made payable to “Trustee, Jim Unger Recovery Trust,” to Jim Unger's Gymnastics School, 6010 S. 58th Street, Lincoln, NE 68516.  Donations are also accepted at any Union Bank location, just mention the name of the trust.