Dear Editor:

I would like to offer some comments on a recent letter from Bob Washick entitled Finds it to be a business. As a long time resident and property owner in Lake Harmony, I disagree with his opinion that Saint Peter the Fisherman Church in Lake Harmony is a business.

Mr. Washick makes several statements in his letter that are not based upon any facts. While it is true that the local volunteer rescue squad and fire department encourage membership to help defray costs, this membership is voluntary. If an emergency should arise at your residence, they respond without checking for any membership. Therefore, property owners are not the mainstay of providing health, safety, and the welfare of our residents. This security is taken care of by the many countless hours of volunteer work provided by our wonderful men and women of the Lake Harmony Rescue Squad and Fire Department.

Mr. Washick points out that taxes collected from property owners do assist in supporting emergency services in Lake Harmony such as the police department. However, what he fails to mention is that no collected public taxes go to assist the costs of maintaining Saint Peter the Fishman Church.

As a member of the parish, I can attest to the fact that fundraisers such as community breakfasts, dinners, and craft fairs go to expenses such as heat, electric, building repairs, and mortgage. Participation at these events is voluntary and provides community fellowship to those who attend. Mr. Washick is probably not aware that the parish holds a great annual breakfast at no charge for all the emergency personal in the community to honor all the work that they do for us.

In addition, money collected from these events is often given to support various charities in our local community. This includes the food pantry at Saint Peter the Fisherman Church, which is open to ALL needy people free of charge and does not discriminate.

Dr. Mark Saxon

Lake Harmony