Fundraiser for MN Teen who Lost Dream VW Bus in St. Cloud Fire
A campaign to raise $10,000 is building momentum after a 19-year old's dream VW bus was lost in a fire.
Dylan Rinehart was on his way to his uncle's cabin for the weekend when he stopped for gas in St. Cloud. After filling the tank, he climbed back in to find that the 1974 VW Westfalia wouldn't start. That's when he noticed smoke coming from the engine compartment behind him. As he ran to open it, flames shot out. "Fire!" he yelled. A gas station attendant called 911 and asked Dylan to move the bus away from the gas pumps. He got into the burning bus and moved it.
A short time later, the bus -- and all of Dylan's prized possessions inside -- had burned.
That's just a fraction of the long story and labor of love Dylan's three brothers share in the Go Fund Me campaign they've started on their brother's behalf.
"When our brother Dylan was 14 he dreamed of buying, restoring and traveling the country in a VW bus."
He eventually found one that had been sitting unused in a barn in Wisconsin. Dylan and his dad went out to get it and brought it back. "The bus was is such rough shape that 3 auto body shops declined the job because they saw it as too big of an undertaking."
For two and a half years, Dylan, his dad, his brothers and friends restored the VW bus -- removing portions, learning how to weld, sanding, reupholstering, carpeting and painting. It really was an act of love. When it was all said and done, he named it "Babe the Big Blue Bus."
Now, Dylan's brothers are asking for help in restoring Dylan's dream: "Dylan is the type of friend and brother anyone would be lucky to have...Our Goal is to raise $10,000 to offset the portion insurance will not cover to allow Dylan to purchase another VW bus...He had his first road trip to Colorado planned for July and if we can raise funds fast enough we would love to see him make the road trip this yet summer."
At time of writing, $1,175 has been raised.
Some of the donors have included messages of encouragement for Dylan:
"Good luck with your dream. Don't give up. Jason Brandvold Here are my VWs for inspiration."
"Dylan, Let us know when we can help restore upholstery in your new DREAM VAN!"
If you'd like to donate to Dylan's new VW bus, you can do so here.