MIDDLETOWN BORO, Pa. (WHTM) — A Dauphin County firefighter is on the mend after he was seriously injured at a fire scene. On Thursday, Kuppy’s Diner in Middletown wrapped up a successful fundraiser to help him.
Firefighter Shawn Menear was injured while fighting a house fire in Royalton on Jan. 23rd. He’s still in recovery, but he is seeing visitors. Kuppy’s Diner managed to raise $5,000 to help him with costs when he comes home.
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They did it with turkey dinners — complete with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and cranberry sauce. The packaged dinners took up not just all the table space in the diner, but bench and counter space too.
Co-owner Carol Kupp said her family has been cooking all week to fill around 270 orders.
“Pretty much round the clock, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday of rotating the turkeys in the oven, pulling them out,” she said. “Chopping onion, chopping celery, I mean when you make everything from scratch, it takes a little more time.”
Kupp said even if people did not manage to order dinner before the diner reached the maximum, many of them also donated cash. She said she did not expect the fundraiser to get as big as it did.
“We put it on our Facebook page, so then the next day of the course the phone started to ring,” Kupp said.
All of the money will go to Menear and his family. Menear was hurt fighting a deadly fire at a home in Royalton, when the second floor collapsed, trapping him inside. He is now in the hospital in Philadelphia, but the fire department said he is recovering.
“Hopefully coming home later next week,” Richard Seachrist, president of the Middletown Volunteer Fire Department, said.
Seachrist says the community’s support has been overwhelming.
“We’re thankful for all the people who came out, not only buying dinners but also made cash donations,” he said.
Seachrist also said he is grateful people are recognizing the work of volunteer firefighters.
“The guys give up their personal time, not only to run fire calls, but to do training, to do fundraisers, and the community would certainly be lost without them,” he said.
For the Kupps, the fundraiser was an easy decision. They knew they had to help.
“If there’s something you can do to give back, as a business, in the community, that you need to do that,” Carol Kupp said.
The fundraiser at Kuppy’s Diner is not the last organized to help Shawn Menear and his family. Another fundraiser will be held at the American Legion on Sunday, and a GoFundMe page organized by the fire department has raised more than $30,000.