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American Legion to Host Benefit for Adam Hartswick

by on July 13, 2013 10:34 AM

Tonight marks the first benefit that Catherine Witmer has ever organized on her own, but it is one that the event coordinator at American Legion Post 245 will not soon forget.

Saturday night, there will be a fundraiser for Sgt. Adam Hartswick, a 2009 State College graduate who lost both his legs from an explosive device while serving as a combat medic in Afghanistan.

Witmer said that a woman who works with Hartswick’s mother approached her a few weeks ago about putting something together.

She knew it would be a time crunch, but the answer was an immediate yes.

“It was hectic, but it’s going to be awesome. Adam has such a positive attitude, and we want to show him that we’re going to be here for him."

The event will take place at 1950 Pine Hall Drive in State College. There is a spaghetti dinner from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. for $10. Oldies band Missing Link will play from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. A $5 donation is requested there. All tickets can be purchased at the door.

Despite a lot going on around town, Witmer described the response as “incredible” and is hoping to have between 300-500 show up. This should raise a minimum of $1500 for Hartswick’s medical bills, and the total should be way more than that with additional guests and donations.

“We know it’s Arts Fest and there’s a lot of stuff going on in State College, so if people just want to stop by and make a donation, they are welcome to do that as well,” said Witmer. “Ultimately we’re just trying to help Adam.”

In addition to dinner and music, there will be several other forms of entertainment including raffles and silent auctions. Some prizes up for grabs include a drum, a humidor, and a snowboard among a collection of other items.

Several Penn State sports teams also donated items. The event will feature a Bill O’Brien signed football, hockey pucks signed by Guy Gadowsky, wrestling national championship T-shirts, and a signed ball by the Lady Lions.

People in attendance will also be able to write personal messages for Hartswick. After the benefit, the notebook will be delivered to him and serve as a source of inspiration as he continues to recover from his injury.

“Adam is a local hero. We’re always going to be here to help him. It can be six months from now or a few years down the line, and he’ll know that he always has our support,” said Witmer.

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Drew Balis is a Penn State graduate, freelance reporter and frequent contributor to
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