Benefit set for family of "Kind Bill"
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Mary Cramer and her son Austin, 12, from Tamaqua, organize donations in preparation for the "For a Good Cause" benefit this Friday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Hometown Fire Company.
A number of family members and friends of the late William "Bill" Steele, 54, who died March 3, five days after being struck by a car on East Union Street in Tamaqua while he was operating a snow blower, will be holding a DJ and food benefit for Bill's next of kin, who are struggling to pay household and funeral expenses. Bill, or "Kind Bill" as some knew him, was well known by many in Tamaqua for being neighborly and helpful to everyone. Mary Cramer, Bill's sister-in-law, stated, "Bill was well-known in Tamaqua for helping anybody that needed help, no matter what effort was needed."
The benefit for Bill's children, called "For A Good Cause", is scheduled Friday from 7-11 p.m. at the Hometown Fire Co. located at 45 Mahanoy Ave, SR-54, in Hometown. It will consist of DJs and bands. All proceeds will help pay medical, funeral expenses, and support the children. Hotdogs, hamburgers, and refreshments will also be for sale to benefit Bill's family. Sponsors include DJ MIXX (Ray Schlauch), the Hometown Fire Company, Micstand Productions and "Story of Another" band. Benefit organizers tell everyone to come laugh to some of Allentown's funniest comedians. It is for any age group. There will not be alcohol at the Hometown Fire Co. For more information, please call Mary Cramer at (570) 225-8952. All items can be dropped off at Mary's home at 210 Pine St in Tamaqua. Hotdogs, hamburgers, soda, and tea will also be sold to benefit the Steele family. Please inform everyone you know about this.
Prior to his death, Bill recently lost his wife Kathy Steele in 2008, to Glioblastoma multiforme (brain tumor). Working, paying bills, and taking care of the children were all top priority for Bill after her death. A number of places Bill worked was Tamaqua TV & Appliance, Kovatch, and Wal-Mart.
Bill volunteered with a number of community organizations, some of which were the Tamaqua Citizen's Fire Company, American Hose Fire Company, and Keystone Fish and Hunt Club. Besides helping his neighbors, marching in parades and volunteering at the "Council Cup" camp for kids in Wilkes-Barre were also some other things Bill had done.
A number of people and businesses have stepped up to help provide donations for the Friday benefit. Some of these include Hometown Wal-Mart, American Hose Fire Company, Citizen's Fire Company, Keystone Fish and Hunt Club, Tamaqua Girl Scouts Troop 31236, a Bethelehem bakery, and a chip stand at the Orwigsburg auction.
Mary Cramer, Scott Cramer, and Kristy Melchior are organizing the benefit. Any monetary donations can be made-out to and mailed to Bill's mother-in-law Jean Brobst, 31 Lafayette St, Tamaqua PA 18252.
A friend of "Kind Bill" stated, "Years ago, Bill used to be my neighbor on South Lehigh Street in Tamaqua. He always used his snow blower to remove snow off my grandparents property next door and never wanted anything in return. We should all help him, as he spent a lot of his time helping others."