MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota community is turning out in force this evening to help a former Mankato football player fighting to survive a brutal assault.

Isaac Kolstad, 24, remains in critical condition after allegedly being assaulted by two men. One of them is said to be former gopher quarterback Philip Nelson; the other, Trevor Shelley.

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In the assault, Kolstad suffered severe head trauma during the fight outside of a bar early Sunday morning on May 11.

Now, the community in Mankato has pitched in in a big way and is expecting to host 1,500 people for a benefit and silent auction from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday.

The event is held at Fastenal — located on 150 Pauley Ct. in Mankato — where Kolstad worked selling construction supplies since January. The date of the event — May 22 – is also significant because No. 22 is Kolstad’s jersey number. They will be selling T-shirts with “#22STRONG” to honor him.

Friends and event organizers say they are already surprised at donations pouring in, including money, tables, chairs, silent auction items — even Port-A-Potties.

“No dollar amount can fix this situation, but that’s kind of that way people want to show their support – and they’re outpouring it,” said event organizer Dan Bruss. “And we want to make sure that everyone who wants to be here is here.”

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Friend and co-workers who helped organize the event say the support received is a testament to Kolstad’s good reputation in the community.

Kolstad’s younger brother, Abe, read a statement at the event, saying Isaac is still fighting to survive.

“Isaac’s condition is still very critical and considered day-to-day,” Abe said. “We know Isaac hears the many words of encouragement from the many family and friends who have visited him, had written to him and have said prays for him.”

Clay Peterson works with Isaac, and says he is missed.

“He’s a great guy. I really enjoy working with him. He is a joy to have around the shop and I really do miss him,” Peterson said.

He said they’re hoping to raise as much as they can to help Kolsted and his family.

All the money raised will go to the Kolstad’s mounting medical bills. He has a wife, a young daughter and another daughter on the way. His wife is due in just two weeks.

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Click here for more information on helping the Kolstad family.

Liz Collin