MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- An usher for a Twin Cities church left behind an incredible gift, and now you have a chance to be part of it.
Dennis Erickson passed away in his sleep last December at the age of 69.
The Eagan man was an usher at Celebration Church in Lakeville for 15 years.
The engineer collected toy cars, trucks, tractors, busses and planes since he was 9 years old.
In six decades, he managed to collect 32,000 models, ranging from antique to modern design.
Erickson left all the cars to his friends and family of Celebration. Many people knew about Erickson's love for cars, but few people knew how much that love meant.
Pastor Derrick Ross and his wife, Dana, never met Erickson, but are grateful for the man who will leave a lasting impact on their church.
"It was pretty overwhelming to just see the care and attention he put into that passion," Pastor Ross said. "And then an overwhelming sense of gratitude that he would leave that for the benefit of furthering the ministry of his home church."
Darice Wunderlick works at Allstate Auctioneers in Burnsville, and helped sort through the cars.
"It was going through box by box, and putting them together in different lots," Wunderlick said.
The almost-finished product takes up two rooms and many aisles, and the auctioneers still have work to do. It is an endeavor for which Celebration Church is grateful.
The money raised from the toy cars will go toward a new building that serves its growing congregation and the surrounding community. Click here for more information.
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