Cory Meyer: “A Pillar to This Community"

TR Staff
Staff Writer

By Joey Marini
It is only in our darkest moments that we discover our true identities. Sure, a community can be defined as a unified body of individuals, but to what extent defines unification? Is a community nothing more than a group of people who share locality? Or is a community something with deeper and stronger. After Cory Meyer’s tragic accident, we, the members of Valley City and Barnes County, find ourselves in that bleak moment, looking for ways to prove that we are bound by more than merely geography.
Saturday, April 6th, will forever be a day that haunts the Meyer family. As Cory began a small fire in his backyard late that evening, the unexpected happened. He fueled the fire with a bottle of gas and turned to add more wood. Unbeknownst to Meyer, the bottle had not ignited immediately. When Cory went to add a few more logs, the bottle caught and exploded in his face. The pop was loud enough to be heard from inside as his startled son, Jake, realized something was awry. The explosion was so forceful that it blew Cory back several feet into a swing set, breaking his clavicle in the process. As he stood up, all he could see was fire. Realizing an immediate burning sensation, Meyer laid face first in the snow for a brief period of time before feeling the pain take in on his stomach, legs, hands, and feet. The jeans he was wearing had singed to his quadriceps and his shoes were on fire. Meyer stripped all the burnt clothes off and went to the shower, where his son Jake found him with skin falling off of his body. In a state of shock, pain, and a nearly physical inability to speak, Cory was able to get out “Call 911” to his son.
Being so far out in the country, it is often difficult for friends and relatives to arrive to the Meyer residence without directions. The first responders and ambulance arrived swiftly and with great care bringing Cory to Fargo to assure his vitals were stable before flying him to Minneapolis. From the incident, Cory has faint memory up until the next afternoon at the Hennepin Burn Center.
Since the accident, Cory has begun eating solid foods but still is utilizing a protein drip and IV. He is walking for short spurts and is not so raspy when speaking. There are no universal standards for what comes next for Cory, but a re-evaluation on Thursday, April 11th giving direction towards how to doctors will proceed. Cory will need moderate skin grafting but it is unknown what percentage and for where at the moment. His stomach and feet continue to be a point of concern.
Beyond the Meyer families state of shock during these trying times, another overwhelming financial burden exists. The immediacy of first responders, ambulances, flights to Minneapolis, an emergency room visit, and all the other care from the burn unit, long term medical costs are often an ever-looming entity can dramatically alter a families dynamic.
Melissa Meyer, Cory’s wife, will have to balance and budget off a single income household while also taking care of their kids and Cory while he recovers.
Tony Drake, close friend of the family has worked to provide aid to the family. He says, “Now is the time to be selfless, Cory and the Meyer family has always been there to help the community and now it’s time for us to help them.”
With very musical genes, the Meyer family sings at communal gatherings and are very active in the Nazarene Church. Members of the community are implored to see beyond a man who is enduring hardships, and look into Cory’s continuous involvement, support, and love for the community.
“For decades they have been pillars to this community. Every member individually and as a whole,” Drake continues. “Cory especially; he’s the kind of guy other people should emulate. He’s a hard working family man to a fault. And that’s very rare nowadays.”
Donations and funds have been set up all over Valley City with several options available for financial assistance. A GoFundMe campaign has been started by Aaron Bishop, a close childhood friend; The campaign currently has earned nearly $15,000 from 138 people. The GoFundMe page will also be making updates for those who wish to follow Cory’s road to recovery. Local can also deposit funds into the Cory Meyer benefit fund at Dacotah Bank. The fund, created by Aaron’s father Mike Bishop, will be open and ongoing until the family closes it. Questions about the account please contact Mike directly at (701) 840-8583.
Many local business owners hve stepped up to help as Tony Drake begins putting donation jars near tills and entrances/exits in Valley City. So far there has been approval at the Valley City Times Record, Budget Burger, Thrifty White Pharmacy, and Brothers III. Tony will make pickups to those jars to ensure the money is transferred into the proper avenue. If you wish to host a donation jar, Tony can be contacted at or (407) 952-8415 and if you would rather have him pick up your donation personally, he is available to do that as well. Donations such as prepaid gifts cards and gas cards are also welcomed as traveling for doctors visits will become a regular occurrence for Cory and his family in near future.
This is the time for Cory to rest and recover not to worry about the stress of financial support. It is the time for his family to be with him and his children, ensuring that everyone moves forward effectively to recover from this tragic event. Stress will only hinder recovery, so it is times for family and friends to rally behind the Meyer family and offer their love and support.
Clint Meyer, Cory’s brother, said, “He is recovering well and is in good spirits.” Which is not unlike Cory to see the positives in this moment. With such an influence and enrichment of this community, it is poetic how Cory Meyer can smile and watch a place he loves so much return that love back. Maybe a community is nothing more than coincidental to where one lays his/her own hat, but for Cory Meyer, this community is his family and he is ours.