Herald and Journal, Oct. 1, 2001

Fundraisers in the works for victims; residents reflect

By Lynda Jensen

Two local organizations are working on fund-raising projects to benefit the victims of the terrorist attacks in New York Sept. 11.

The Youth Group for St. James Church is collecting donations and hosting a bake sale, of which all the proceeds will be sent to victims in New York, member Patty Diers said.

The money raised at St. James will be matched by the Aid Association for Lutherans (AAL) branch number 1550, she said.

The bake sale will be at the St. James school cafeteria Saturday, Oct. 6, starting at 1 p.m.

What's really cool is that the AAL, as a national organization, plans to match $1 million in funds for the terrorist victims nationwide, Diers said.

This means all the money raised at St. James will end up being double what was given, she said.

Those who wish to make donations may drop them off at the church, or at the bake sale, she said.

Another fund-raiser going on is the sale of t-shirts for sale from students of the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted school.

"I thought of it at a conference," HLWW teacher Dave Metcalf said of the t-shirt venture. About 150 of them were ordered, to be sold for $7 each by drama students.

All of the proceeds from the t-shirts will be sent to victims in New York to a charity of a choice.

In fact, one quarter of the proceeds from the wholesale place of the shirts being ordered will be donated to victims in New York by the wholesale company, Metcalf said.

They are being sold first come, first serve, he said.

"We're not taking a penny of the proceeds," Metcalf said.

They ordered 150 t-shirts, although they may consider a second order in the future, he said.

Still very fresh in everyone's minds

The attacks are still fresh in many residents' minds, since a few reported their experiences.

Shane Fogarty was traveling with his fiancee, Kelly Sullivan, of Colorado, in a train coming back from Rome when the couple saw news broadcasts of the tragedy.

Since neither one speaks a word of Italian, they didn't know what was happening at first, although they kept hearing "Americans" in the Italian conversation and could see the visuals, he said.

"It was odd," he said.

Fogarty ran to buy a USA Today newspaper, which is the only English written newspaper there, to find out more about what happened, he said.

There were some British newspapers they saw afterward that carried extremely graphic accounts of the tragedy - bodies and all, he said. "They didn't pull any punches," he added.

"Everyone was so nice," he commented of the Italians, who went out of their way to construct signs made in English to convey their condolences and sorrow, he said.

They returned from their two-week trip to Italy about two days late, which wasn't that bad, he said. Their plane home was diverted to Detroit, he said.

Another local family that was touched by the attacks was the Harvey and Bonnie Young family, Waverly.

The Youngs had several relatives in the New York area at the time, although not all together.

Their daughter, Patty Reinert and her husband George, Montrose, and their granddaughter, Sara Reinert, were about five miles north of the crash site in Manhattan, Patty said.

They did not hear or see much, although it was very difficult to find a rental car to drive home.

"We decided Tuesday to get out of New York," Patty said.

They called several places, and then made one last attempt to secure a car. They got one, and drove the 20-hour trip home straight, she said.

Other relatives of the Youngs in New York at the time included sister-in-law Susan Reinert of Buffalo, Andy O'Brien, who is Harvey's sister's son in law, and a brother's daughter in law, Harvey said.

Was he worried?

"No way!" Harvey said. "Are we going to let these people (terrorists) make us fearful?" he asked.

Still, it was unsettling enough for the Reinerts to cancel a three month educational trip to Spain, Patty said.

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