Miller family

The Dan Miller family of Preston.

A collaborative effort is under way to organize a benefit for a Preston family who lost their home in a house explosion almost two weeks ago.

The Knights of Columbus will host a golf outing at Plum River Golf Course just outside Preston Sept. 21. The Preston Lions Club will serve a meal in downtown Preston, and other activities are slated for that day including a silent and live auction as well as a bags tournament.  

Organizers continue planning more fundraising events for Sept. 21. Details will be announced as they become available.

Proceeds from the day will be given to the Dan Miller family.

The Dan and Jen Miller house, located at 39137 Highway 64 a couple miles west of Preston, exploded at about 11:34 a.m. Aug. 16. The house was in flames when emergency personnel arrived on scene.

Dan was airlifted to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. Burns covered about 95 percent of Dan’s body, according to family friends.

Dan remains hospitalized and has already had two surgeries. He left the burn unit at the end of last week, according to social media posts shared with the consent of his wife, Jen. Doctors moved Dan to the intensive care unit “where they can handle a few more things than where he was before,” according to the post from Miller family confidant Erica Felkey.

Felkey also posted the following message from Jen:

“Our road to recovery is getting longer and harder and the reality of survival is getting harder to handle. Many of you are wanting to help & we can ask for 2 things: 1.) Pray 2.) Donate blood. Dan is receiving blood with each operation and in between. That really is all we can do at this time. Please continue your prayers in the hours ahead.”

Jen and the couple’s two young daughters were not home at the time of the explosion.

The state fire marshal is investigating the cause of the explosion.

People who want to send letters or cards to the Miller family are asked to send them to the following address:

Dan and Jen Miller

Box 252

Preston, Iowa 52069

Monetary donations may be written to the Dan Miller Benefit. Maquoketa State Bank and Clinton National Banks have accounts set up for the Millers. Plastics Unlimited, where Dan works, also is accepting money and gift car donations on the family’s behalf.

Miles and Preston emergency crews also hosted their fourth annual mud bog and truck and tractor pull fundraiser Saturday in Miles. The event, which has attracted hundreds in the past, drew even more after organizers decided to give the majority of the events’ funds to the Miller family. A fundraising total was not yet available at press time.