Craft show set to raise funds for former Scottdale fire chief
By Paul Paterra
Published: Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Crafters and vendors will be plying their wares from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Scottdale Firemen's Hall.
But this will be more than a typical craft show. Proceeds from those who will by paying for their tables will go to Jerry Younkin. There also will be a silent auction, bake sale and 50/50 drawing.
Younkin is the one-time chief of the Scottdale Volunteer Fire Department who received a lung transplant Jan. 14, 2012. Younkin was diagnosed in 2009 with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which causes a thickening and scarring of the lungs and makes even breathing a struggle.
There are bills to be paid and they can be quite high for Younkin and his family.
According to information provided by TransplantLiving.org, the average lung transplant can carry a price tag in excess of $550,000. Health insurance did cover a portion of the transplant costs, but significant medical-related expenses remain. Two spaghetti dinners have been held to help defray some of those costs, the latest taking place in May.
Tim Dunn, a Scottdale resident, developed the idea of the craft show to raise some funds.
“I've sent out probably over 200 letters to businesses asking them for a donation for the silent auction and also to all of the churches, if they would put it in their bulletin, to announce this,” Dunn said. “The medical bills are just so outrageous. I've gotten some responses from crafters and vendors. We're still looking for crafters.”Interested parties can contact Dunn at email@example.com or 724-887-7897. Tables for crafters are $20 for the first and $15 for a second table. The price for vendors is $25 for the first table and $15 for a second. Checks are to be made payable to Jerry Younkin.
Some of the businesses who have donated for the silent auction are Carson's Premier Catering, Dairy Queen, Fantastic Sams. MedExpress and Scottdale Lumber.
“It's been very, very overwhelming,” Dunn said, adding he's hoping there will be a bit more. “It's nice to get something. I've contacted all the restaurants around to ask them for a donation.”
As of Sept. 20, about 15 crafters had applied to take part. Dunn said the goal is to have 30 at the show. There are about 22 vendors who have applied, Dunn said.
Dunn said his involvement stemmed from a friendship between his daughter Breann and Melissa Younkin Danser.
“I remember him going through the struggles, because Breann would tell me,” Dunn said. “I've been involved with those spaghetti dinners. I can't do much, but I sit at the door and sell tickets.”
What has really put Dunn on a path to offer aid and help was a serious car accident in which he was involved in December 2010.
Dunn said the accident left him in a coma for 40 days and with a myriad of injuries.
“God didn't want me, he just wanted my attention,” Dunn said. “He wants to do good is what I think....I keep thinking this is what God wanted me to do. He didn't take me that day and he could have. I think he wanted my attention and he got it full blast.”
He has become involved in several other volunteering ventures and is staying on that same path with the craft show.
“Both of the (spaghetti dinners) were sold out, both did a great job,” Dunn said. “I think this is something different and (Younkin) really could use the help.”
Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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