Over Memorial Day weekend, the Summit Hill Recreation Commission staged its annual "Stay-at-Home Festival," an annual fund-raising event complete with fireworks, bands, carnival rides, games, food, and spectacular fireworks.

The event nearly ended in disaster.

On the opening day of the two-day event, a violent storm swooped through the area with high winds and heavy rain. Not only did it cancel the first day of the festival, the vicious wind wrecked several of the stands and caused other damages.

The problems caused were so severe that there was a strong chance the whole festival might have to be canceled, which would have created a financial hardship to the Recreation Commission.

All the money the Recreation Commission raised at the festival is dedicated to the youth of the community. The commission placed new rides at the Ginder Park playground last year. New swings have been purchased for the Ginder playground as well as another playground. New basketball courts are being built along West Amidon Street. There will be kiddie basketball courts added to another playground.

Officials of the Recreation Commission refused to throw in the towel despite seeing the festival's heavy damages. They put out an appeal for volunteers to come and help salvage the broken stands - and the remaining day of the event.

Boy, did the volunteers respond!

Mike Kokinda, president of Summit Hill Borough Council, said of the turnout, "That was awesome. People just showed up."

Monica Marshall, chairman of the Recreation Commission, remarked, "If it were not for our small community coming together, a festival may have not been held. It is because of your assistance we were able to salvage and celebrate."

Marshall put together a list of names of the people who showed up and re-assembled the shattered sites.

They are:

Lori Devonshire

Tyler Devonshire

Tom Vermillion

Greg Kosciolek

Matt Kosciolek

Jesse Walck

Billy O'Gurek

Nathan Halenar

Fred Evans, Jr.

Franklin Klock

Francie O'Gorman

Shawn Hutta

Chris H. Henritzy

Chris Rehnert

Mark Haines

John Horvath

Darrel McFarland

Skodacek's Auto

Kruslicy Family

Matt DeHart

Claudia Kupec

Megan and Dan Blazosky

Jean Marie Fabrizio

It's just possible she inadvertently missed a few names, considering the high response.

It's great to see people come together and help each other.

The festival always depends on volunteers for running the event and making it a success.

This year, when turmoil struck, volunteers stepped up a notch and did more than expected. They saved the festival. Their efforts assured that there would still be funds raised to help the youth of Summit Hill.

It's also great living in a small town where people still care about each other.

By RON GOWER

rgower@tnoline.com