Benefit for Toddler Burned in Campfire

By Dawn Pellas

Published 07/09 2014 05:23PM

Updated 07/09 2014 06:03PM

Earlier this year, 20 Month Old Eli Bender was on a camping trip to Potter County with his parents, Jason and Nicole Bender of Lilly. In a split second, their lives changed when Eli fell into a campfire. Eli was airlifted to Lehigh Valley Medical Center where doctors said he suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 30 percent of his body. Medical bills for his care have been mounting ever since.

On today's show, Dave Rykala of The Johnstown Chapter of the Red Knights International Firefighters Motorcycle Club joins us to talk about several events planned to help Eli and his family pay medical bills.  Eli's grandparents Ray and Kim McCloskey of Gallitzin are members of the Johnstown Red Knights. They asked their chapter for help.  The group launched the "Red Knights for Eli" Campaign.  Fundraisers have been organized, including this year's Jackson Township Poker Run on July 19th, as well as the Conemaugh MedStar Ride on August 16th.

Jackson Township Poker Run
Saturday, July 19 at Fire Hall
Registration: Friday, July 18 at 6 pm
& Saturday July 19 at 11 am
Ride Starts at Noon

More about this event: The Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company is hosting the annual Gary Gongloff & Aaron Rusin Memorial Poker Run to benefit Eli Bender, a 20 month old child from Gallitzin who fell into a fire pit while camping with his family and is suffering from 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree burns from the accident.
Pre-Registration starts on Friday night @ 6 pm at the Fire Hall along with a Car Cruise & The Johnstown Classic Rockers playing from 6:30 – 10:30. Registration also on Saturday @ 11 am at the Fire Hall with the ride starting at 12 noon.

August Event:
Conemaugh MedStar Ride, August 16

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