2014-01-23 / Front Page

Bingo To Benefit Fall Victim

HAVFCO rallying in support of member Larry Traxler
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz


Hustontown native Larry Traxler, center, is surrounded by sons Keegan, left, and Kelden, right, daughter MacKenzie and wife Michelle in this photo taken on Christmas while he was recuperating at Altoona Trauma. Hustontown native Larry Traxler, center, is surrounded by sons Keegan, left, and Kelden, right, daughter MacKenzie and wife Michelle in this photo taken on Christmas while he was recuperating at Altoona Trauma. NEWS EDITOR

Members of the Hustontown Area Volunteer Fire Co. will rally Sunday afternoon in support of one of their own who suffered injuries last month during a fall from his home’s rooftop.

An active member of HAVFCO since the young age of 12, Larry Traxler was injured Friday, December 13, while stringing Christmas lights on the roof of his Groundhog Valley home just outside of the village of New Grenada.

According to Traxler’s sister, Lauri DeShong, who organized the benefit “Redneck Bingo” in conjunction with her son, Skyler, Traxler was putting up lights when he reportedly slipped on a patch of ice that remained from a recent ice storm. During the fall, Traxler made a grab for the home’s spouting, causing a ruckus and thereby alerting his wife, Michelle, to the accident.

Traxler, Deshong said, fell approximately 13 feet and suffered a variety of injuries, including a collapsed lung, fractured sternum, six broken ribs and a shattered hip and pelvis. Unconscious when he was initially found, Traxler was transported to the Robertsdale baseball field where he was airlifted to Altoona Trauma.

Deshong said Traxler remained at the facility for approximately two weeks and spent the Christmas holiday there with his wife and children, 21-year-old MacKenzie, Kelden and Keegan, ages 9 and 7. In light of the family emergency, Santa Claus was kind enough to drop off the children’s presents at the hospital so the family could still enjoy the holiday together, DeShong said.

Traxler spent the following two weeks at Health South Rehab in Altoona before being released to the care of his family and continues to do rehab in the convenience of his home. DeShong added her brother has just now begun walking with a cane.

The premise behind the fundraiser for Traxler originated with DeShong’s 19-year-old son, Skyler and a group of his hunting buddies. She said her son, who is a volunteer at HAVFCO and has hopes of some day becoming being a paid firefighter, would give the shirt of his back to help another family in need. With the shoe now on the other foot, they are hoping the community will rally in support of their family.

Their hopes have truly been met, as DeShong stated the support from the community to date has been overwhelming. Financial contributions have allowed the organizers to purchase all of the prizes necessary for the Redneck Bingo, including door and raffle prizes as well as items for a silent bid auction.

The Redneck Bingo benefit is scheduled for this Sunday, January 26. Doors at the Hustontown Firehall are set to open at noon, with the first game getting under way at 1 p.m. The event will consist of 24 games for $20, and two specials will be played for a 50/50 cash prize. Various items such as King Tut will also be available, and the kitchen will have food available for participants.

A total of 400 tickets are available for the event and approximately 150 have been spoken for at this time. Tickets will be available at the door.

All proceeds from this event will benefit Traxler and his family. Traxler is a native of Hustontown and a 1987 graduate of Forbes Road Junior/Senior High School. He is currently employed as an electrician at Norfolk Southern.

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