Church to hold fundraiser for Montoursville family

Family and friends of the Hart family have rallied together to help them during a difficult time.

And now the Hart’s church family are coming to their aid by holding a Polish dinner fundraiser from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 100 Walnut St., Montoursville.

Funds from the meal will be given to Amy and Brian Hart, of Montoursville, to help with expenses incurred while their youngest daughter, Lia, 5, undergoes treatment for liver cancer.

Lia was diagnosed April 29 with stage four liver cancer and needs a liver transplant this summer.

There is a fee for tickets and carry outs will be available.

The event also will feature a raffle of handcrafted items donated by local artists and crafters, said Judy DeGregorio, a church volunteer. There will be two different raffle events – one a silent auction by bid and the other by tickets.

“It started as just the Polish dinner, but we wanted to add the raffle to raise every dollar possible,” DeGregorio said.

Claire Cillo, who is organizing the raffle, said she has received more than 35 hand-crafted items, including a full-size quilt, quilted throw, afghans, paintings, pottery and two milking stools.

A handmade bear, “happy hour”-themed basket and basket of Purity Candy also were donated.

“We have gorgeous scarves, too, and hooded towels for babies,” Cillo said. “I even have a terrarium.”

Cillo said it is incredible how the entire parish came together to help the family. She said the event was planned in about a month with more than 100 volunteers, artists and parishioners stepping forward to offer their talents and donate their time.

Chances will be sold and the winners will be announced at 8 p.m. Winners do not need to be present to win.

Rose Patt, who is overseeing the dinner portion of the event, said the church has received “an outpouring of love for this little girl.”

“Last year we had a Polish dinner and sold out of 300 meals,” she said. “This year we are preparing for 700.”

Patt said most of the supplies and food was donated by parishioners and the Knights of Columbus, who also will assist with the carry outs, in the kitchen and wherever they are needed.

“This all started when Father [John] Manno told us about Lia and we asked how we could help,” Patt said. “We wanted to hold something to celebrate his 45th year in priesthood and he suggested holding a benefit dinner for her.”

From there, the event began to grow as more and more people asked how they could help.

“I accidentally scheduled our ‘piggie-wrapping’ night on the same night that the Knights of Columbus meet at the church,” Patt said. “When I called Paul Smith of the Knights of Columbus, he said, ‘don’t worry, it’s our social night, so I’ll just tell everyone we’re rolling piggies for Lia.’ “