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Crusade 4 Hope raises money for local tot


Special to The Press

People came together recently at the Skeet Club Grove Pavilion in Slatington to raise money for a local boy diagnosed with pediatric cancer.

Crusade 4 Hope aims to bring the community together to spread awareness regarding local children diagnosed with pediatric cancer.

All proceeds from the event go toward providing the families with financial assistance during such a difficult time.

Each year, a different child is chosen by Crusade 4 Hope.

This year, all proceeds will go to the family of 4-year-old Luke Schillinger of the New Tripoli area who has a brain tumor.

There was food, drinks, raffles, a chance auction, bounce house for the children and live music performed by the bands The Acoustic Groove Trio, Beautiful Disaster and Whiskey Hollow at the skeet club.

Attendees could also participate in a motorcycle and classic car run. The drive ran for about an hour, with the route going along Mountain Road, Slatington, Route 248, Route 895, Route 309 and then circling back to Mountain Road.

One of the drivers was New Tripoli resident and event volunteer Ed Reiter who drove his electric blue 1971 Plymouth Roadrunner.

Reiter said he has owned his car since 1977 but it had been stored away for 18 years until he had decided to restore it.

Regarding the Schillinger family, Reiter said he knew the family for a number of years and it was great to see the community come together and support them during this time.

Another attendee was Tim Gilbert who traveled from Whitehall with his wife, Pat Gilbert, and friend Pat Mc­Keone.

Tim Gilbert said they have been attending the event for the past three years after finding out about it originally from one of the organizers.

He described it as being a “good cause” and said he enjoyed all of the festivities, including the chance auction and the food.

He concluded by admiring the fact so many people within the community came together to make the event possible.

“It’s so nice there are so many people who took the time to come out and donate items and support this organization,” Gilbert said.

Founder Joe Madar said the fundraiser has been taking place for the past 14 years every September, during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Madar talked about the heartbreak induced by pediatric cancer which led him to found Crusade 4 Hope.

“The world can change in a heartbeat. It’s unfortunate,” Madar said. “Children are just God’s little angels and it just breaks my heart to see a little, innocent child have something like that.”

Madar said he was thankful for the help of so many people who make an event of this magnitude possible every year.

The pig for the event’s pig roast was donated by a friend, the bands playing at the event made donations and the Skeet Club was gracious in letting the charity use the pavilion.

“So many people help make it work. And all the volunteers are friends and family, it just really amazes me. The effort that they help out with is really great. I’m blessed,” Madar said.

To keep up to date with Crusade 4 Hope, visit facebook.com/crusade4hope.

To make a donation benefiting Luke Schillinger and his family, visit crusade4hope.org.

PRESS PHOTOS BY LINDSEY BOWMAN Ed Reiter brought his electric blue 1971 Plymouth Roadrunner to display.
Tim Gilbert, his wife, Pat, and friend Pat McKeone enjoy lunch at the Crusade 4 Hope fundraiser for the Schillinger family of New Tripoli.