WEST PITTSTON — Bill Whyte has always lent a helping hand when he needed to, and now the community is looking to return the favor.
Under the guidance of Barb Sherinsky and other women of the Loyal Order of Moose organization, a fundraiser will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 28 at the West Wyoming Hose Co. on Shoemaker Avenue in West Wyoming. It will feature music by Pat Mussina, food, baskets and special raffles.
The event is to help raise funds for Whyte, 55, who had his leg crushed in a forklift accident at work, eventually having it amputated last November.
“We became friends through the Moose Lodge,” Sherinsky said of Whyte. “We just got to be friends. When we were Women of the Moose, he supported everything we did. When he had his accident, he got really down so we decided to do a fundraiser to help him out.”
Whyte admitted he was against the event, but eventually signed on.
“I’ll help anybody, but I’m nervous about people helping me,” he said. “I’ve warmed up to it.”
Sherinksy said there is a $10 donation at the door, but people can donate more if they wish.
The proceeds will go to help Whyte pay for medical bills.
Whyte said he’s been on and off work since his accident, but after his leg was amputated, he hasn’t worked at all.
He’s undergoing physical therapy and his goal is to return to work this year.
“I was shooting for May 1, but now I’m looking at July or August,” Whyte said. “It’d be for just a couple hours a day.”
Sherinsky said members of the Moose Lodge are advertising through social media and word of mouth for the event, noting that word of Whyte’s condition and the event’s purpose has drawn interest from various organizations and businesses.
“We have flyers we’re putting up and the TV station is doing a segment on it,” she said. “We’re getting the word out through word of mouth, Facebook and we have a lot of businesses that donated foods. The beer distributor Billy works at is donating. We put it on Facebook and people are calling to donate.”
Sherinsky also said that Whyte is taking this event in stride and even came up with the idea for a picture to put on the flyers displayed around the borough.
“The theme that Billy picked out for it is the leg lamp from ‘A Christmas Story,’” she said. “We had the meeting and there’s nine people running it, and we asked him if he wanted flowers or anything on the poster, and he said he wanted the leg lamp from ‘A Christmas Story.’”
While the event is for a good cause and will help Whyte tremendously, he’s just looking forward to seeing friends.
“I haven’t seen people in a while and I haven’t been out in a while, especially in the winter,” he said. “You can’t move too fast in that crap.”
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher