“Bish” addressing the crowd in Hyson Hall at the 2017 PA Hometown Hero Walk




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Trinity Lutheran Church

1000 W. Main Street

Lansdale, PA 19446

215-368-1710

www.trinitylansdale.com 

Despite Rainstorm, 2017 PA Hometown Hero Walk Huge Success!

Event tagged “best of all”


For the first time in six years, rain soaked the Annual PA Hero Walk in Lansdale on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at Trinity Lutheran Church. In the previous five years, perfect spring sunny weather allowed the fundraising event to be held outside on church grounds and in downtown Lansdale. This year, rain forced the event inside Hyson Hall. Despite the soggy weather, an estimated 350 enthusiastic people attended the event to honor and raise money for military veterans from WW II to the present Afghanistan/Iraq War Era. This year, over $35,000 was raised to help support PA veterans in their time of dire need. Since 2009, the start of the PA Hero Walk organization, over $1.6 million has been raised to support PA veterans. 8 local commercial businesses, veterans’ organizations, nonprofits, and individuals support the Lansdale Walk each year.


Funds used for helping veterans go toward paying their rent for housing, buying or repairing their vehicles, purchasing food for their families, paying utility bills, or solving a particular medical problem (i.e. specialized bed equipment).


In 2016, over $102,000 was spent to support 70 PA veterans’ critical needs.


This year the Lansdale Hero Walk event was supported and assisted by the church’s new Veterans Ministry, founded by church members Jim Hulton and Chip Kern in September 2016. A total of 23 veterans are currently members of this ministry, which meets monthly to develop plans and programs to help needy veterans. The ministry joined forces with local PA Hero Walk coordinator Michael Bishop “Bish” Rieg of Lansdale to plan and stage the event.


Supporting organizations and individuals that participated in the event this year included the Red Hill Band, North Penn High School Air Force ROTC Cadets, Montgomery County Community College Student Nurses, Sean Halbom of the Montgomery County Department of Veterans Affairs, Jeanne Sorg of the Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds, Lansdale Mayor Andy Szekely, and PA State Reps. Kate Harper and Bob Godshall.


Pastor Chris Glod, Visitation Minister, represented Trinity Lutheran Church.


Special recognition was given to WW II US Army Veteran William Reed. Bill was presented with a quilt handmade by church member Ellen Allen. He was wounded by a bullet to the head on November 18, 1944 in Europe during Operation Clipper. He served from July 1943 to July 1945 when he was given a medical discharge as a result of a metal plate inserted in his head. He was awarded a Purple Heart. Bill is 91 years old and officially retired from the US Post Office. He currently lives in Zephyrhills, Florida, a suburb of Tampa Bay.


In spite of the rain and windy conditions, over 300 walkers ventured out to show their support and walked for an hour.


Everyone in attendance enjoyed refreshments provided by Giant Grocery Store of Hatfield, Lehigh Valley Dairies, Clemens Food Group (Hatfield Meats), North Penn Water Authority, Starbucks of Lansdale, Philly Pretzels of Lansdale, and Franconis Pizzeria of Lansdale.


Bish, in a recent interview about the event and the preparation for it, said “What a great job all the Trinity Veterans Ministry members, volunteers, and staff of Trinity Lutheran Church did to make this, our 6th PA Hometown Hero Walk, I believe, the best of all!”


He further stated “Doing everything in Hyson Hall was a great plus. The Red Hill Band music sounded terrific indoors, the microphone worked well, and the crowd was energetic and attentive. Special thanks to Denny Smith (church maintenance) for his always great work, to all the many TLC volunteers who prepared the food, and those who efficiently cleaned up afterwards. Trinity Lutheran Church is a great community of Christians who serve. Despite the consistent heavy rain and wind throughout the morning, we had a huge number of Veteran supporters. More amazingly, a large number of supporters who came to Trinity were determined to walk in the rain, in fact, did walk! Working together produced a great result: drawing together in the community to support our veterans.”


Jim Hulton, The Write Stuff

www.thewritewstuffhjh.com

TLC Veterans Ministry