Paulpalooza celebrates life and pays it forward

Paulpalooza celebrates life and pays it forward
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The second annual Paulpalooza celebrates life and pays it forward by donating to children with disabilities.

Kathie and Jim Natzke started Paulpalooza in 2018 to celebrate their son, Paul Natzke, who died in 2017. The party brings his friends, family and the community together to remember him with all of his favorite things.

After Paul died, his parents made the choice to donate his organs, and this year, the people who received them attended the party.

Pat Hawley received Paul’s heart and connected with his family. They used a stethoscope to listen to his heartbeat.

“I call them my heart family, and they are the best family that I could ask for,” Hawley said.

Kelly Marquardt received Paul’s kidney and pancreas and connected with his family. Marquardt said the organ donation changed her life.

“Somewhat of a better person,” Marquardt said. “Often now, I think of Paul’s saying: ‘if you can be anything, be kind.'”​​​​​​

Paul’s family said they’re happy with their decision to donate his organs.

“It’s just really heartwarming and gratifying to know that we helped those families out and that Paul helped those families out. It’s been a really special bond,” Jim Natzke said.

All funds raised at Paulpalooza will go to Paul’s Party, a charity created in his honor. Donations can also be made online.

“Everything is expensive for a child with special needs. We think just because you have a disibility, you shouldn’t miss out on the fun part of life,” Kathie Natzke said.

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