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Flood victims, firefighters receive money from fundraiser

Jack Cohen, right, Butler County Tourism and Convention Bureau president, presents Scott Goehring, Harmony Fire District chief, left, and Tim Sapienza, Harmony Fire District president, with a check Wednesday for $1,680 from a fundraiser for their rescue and cleanup efforts during and after the May 28 storm that flooded the borough. Also in the photo are business owners Danyelle Sharps and Josh Meeder, who helped organize the event.

HARMONY — Money raised in a grassroots effort for victims of the May 28 flood and the firefighters who helped them was presented at a brief, informal gathering Wednesday.

Money raised during a benefit concert in July and other fundraisers was presented to the Harmony Fire District to buy four new submersible pumps, to flood victims and to the Allegheny Aquatic Alliance, which cleaned up Connoquenessing Creek and properties after the flood.

Jack Cohen, president of the Butler County Tourism and Convention Bureau, handed out a $1,680 check to the fire district and a $500 check to the alliance, which gave it to the fire district. Cohen said the United Way is distributing $6,365 to residents impacted by the flood.

Business owners, Mayor Cathy Rape and the United Way organized the concert, a GoFundMe account for donations and a gift basket raffle. The United Way handled the money and wrote the donation checks.

“People came together and really wanted to help,” said Josh Meeder, owner of the Center of Harmony, where the check presentation was held. He said his building was among the many that were flooded.

“People want to make a difference and help out their neighbors,” Meeder said.

He said Jim Donovan, of Jim Donovan and the Sun King Warriors band, offered to help by performing a concert and Jergel's Rhythm Grille in Warrendale donated its facility and sound equipment for the show.

Businesses donated baskets for the raffle, which was held during the concert.

“The community would not be what it is today without you people,” Cohen said before handing out the checks.

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