'Ribbons for Adam' Fundraiser Generates Tremendous Community Support
It's going to be a red, white and blue Christmas for U.S. Army Sergeant Adam Hartswick, the State College High School graduate who was seriously wounded in Afghanistan.
A fundraiser sponsored by Otto's Pub and Brewery is collecting money to help pay Adam's expenses while he recovers.
Every time someone donates $5 a red, white and blue ribbon is added to an enormous Christmas tree that towers over the entryway at the State College brew pub. The goal is to sell 1,000 ribbons before the end of the year. When that goal is met, Otto's will kick in a $1,000 donation.
According to Otto's co-owner Roger Garthwaite, as of Wednesday afternoon, "We've sold 931 ribbons for a total of $4,655 and we still have until the 31st of December to sell 1,000 (ribbons)." He adds, "We'll keep selling until the 31st and give Adam the money."
Garthwaite says the response has been overwhelming.
"We had a gentleman come in here today from Petersburg, Pa., stopped in the gift shop, gave a $100 donation and didn't even stay for lunch. Just said, 'put the ribbons on the tree for Adam.'" People have been calling in from all over Pennsylvania and making donations over the phone.
Hartswick, 22, lost both of his legs last May, while serving as a combat medic.
He was helping injured soldiers when an improvised explosive device blew up . The explosion killed four U.S. service members. Hartswick is undergoing therapy, learning to walk with prosthetic legs, at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside of Washington, DC.
His mother, Morgan Hummel, and father, Sean Hartswick, are taking turns, working in shifts as Adam's non-medical attendants.
Garthwaite says he's known Adam for quite awhile, and Adam's mother is a regular at Otto's, so they've followed Adam's progress closely. "The town has really coming alive for Adam," he says.
Otto's puts up a big Christmas tree every year. The idea for the ribbon campaign came to Garthwaite in the middle of the night. Adam visited when the tree first went up in early December. "He had a chance to see it," says Garthwaite. "He was very touched by the whole thing."
Looking up at the tree, with ribbons hanging from almost every branch, is an impressive sight. "There's close to a thousand ribbons on it," says Garthwaite. "To get another five six hundred, that would be a wonderful thing."
Click HERE for more information about Ribbons for Adam.
Editors note: Garthwaite says Otto's sold the 1,000th ribbon on Dec. 19 at 2:10 p.m. Ribbons will still be sold until the end of 2013.