American Legion to hold benefit for injured soldier Sgt. Adam Hartswick

Sgt. Adam Hartswick will be getting more community support on Saturday.

American Legion Nittany Post 245 is holding a benefit in his honor.

“Our message is United We Stand for Adam Hartswick,” said event coordinator Catherine Witmer. “This support is not something that’s going to end after the benefit, and most importantly, our message to him is that we are all standing by his side in his fight.”

Hartswick, of Pine Grove Mills, lost both legs and his right index finger in an IED blast in Afghanistan in May.

The post is hosting a spaghetti dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. with raffles and games in between, and live entertainment from the band Missing Link after dinner.

All money raised will go directly to Hartswick, but Witmer said a fundraising goal has not been established.

“We just want to raise as much as possible,” Witmer said. “I know if we set a goal, we’d exceed it. But we truly believe in a situation like this, community generosity will help Adam. And we and Adam will be thankful for whatever we get.”

Witmer said she and other members of the American Legion post had the pleasure of meeting Hartswick last week.

“You can say he’s humbling and inspirational in the same breath,” Witmer said. “I look at him though a mother’s eyes and know a long road is ahead of him. But he has continuing and enduring support through the process.”

Witmer said when the American Legion notified Hartswick about the benefit in his honor, he was appreciative and grateful.

“He was humbled. Almost feeling undeserving, but the first thing he said was ‘thank you’,” Witmer said on Hartswick’s behalf.

In addition to food, activities and live entertainment at Saturday’s benefit, Witmer said there would also be a notebook where guests can sign and write inspirational messages to Hartswick.