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Valley Twp. couple helps power N.J.

By Mitch Fryer
Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Terry and Sonja Rosenberger of Valley Township thought they might buy a couple of portable generators and drive to New Jersey to help some of those struck by the power of Superstorm Sandy in late October.

They called some home improvement stores and couldn't find any.

But they didn't give up.

The word of what they wanted to do spread quickly to their church and several businesses in and around Armstrong County.

Before long and with everyone working together they were able to locate and purchase 21 portable generators through Lowes stores in Butler and Latrobe and Zorko's Auto Repair in Home, Indiana County.

They figured, “what the heck, let's get them all to where they're needed.”

Donating or helping to pay for the generators were: The Concord Presbyterian Church and Sunday School, of Dayton; Town & Country Generators, of Spaces Corners in Valley Township (owned by Terry, Sonja and Jeff Rosenberger but the business doesn't sell the type of portable generators needed by the storm victims and they did not profit from the endeavor — they did help buy the generators); Elderton State Bank in Elderton; Ralph E. Williamson Trucking, of Dayton; Wood Chevrolet, of Plumville, and Zorko's.

“Those people were in desperate need,” said Sonja Rosenberger. “We've always tried to do what is right. People around here step up when called to the plate. It was a good thing to do to help someone. This was a wonderful experience for all of us and a blessing.”

Now all that the small group needed was help to find anyone that was affected by Sandy who was without electricity that could benefit from the delivery of a new portable generator.

They called on Armstrong County Department of Public Safety official Vince Cappo.

“Terry asked me that with my affiliations within emergency management that if I knew anyone that was affected,” said Cappo.

Cappo called Pennsylvania and New Jersey emergency management agencies and was told they had not received requests for generators and were not able to warehouse them until a need came in.

He then called the Department of Public Safety in New Jersey and was advised that one of the hardest-hit areas was Toms River in Ocean County.

He was given the name of Jim Ricci, business manager for the Church of Grace and Peace in Toms River.

Ricci told Cappo there were thousands without power and people everywhere looking for generators.

They would graciously accept the donation of generators and put them to good use, he said.

“I myself have been without power since the storm arrived,” Ricci wrote in an e-mail to Sonja Rosenberger.

“I want you and your good people to know how much our church and community appreciates your kindness.”

On Nov, 4, the generators were delivered to the New Jersey church and distributed to homes and three gasoline stations by Samaritan's Purse, a Christian-based international relief agency.

“It is rare in these times to see a group of individuals willing to step up and give themselves so unselfishly,” said Cappo.

“I personally consider it an honor to be able to assist those who made this gift possible.”

Thursday at the Armstrong County Commissioners public meeting, the board will recognize with a proclamation the efforts and generosity of everyone involved in the effort in the wake of the storm.

Mitch Fryer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or

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