Did you wonder what the heck all of those cars were doing in downtown Hartwick on Sunday afternoon?  Well, here is the reason.

Tim West, a resident of Hartwick, N.Y. and a longtime member of the Hartwick Fire Department, is undergoing a period of health problems and his friends in this tiny village wanted to help.  So they said "let's put on a dinner" to raise money for him!  And the townsfolk came out in droves.  The chicken and biscuit luncheon drew several hundred in attendance on Sunday beginning at noon.  And there was a line already out the front door when the food was brought out.

Caren Kelsey, the Hartwick Squad Captain, said, "We all love Tim and he is such a valuable member of our squad. He is one my Lieutenants and I can't tell you how professional and responsible that man is. We wanted to do this to support him in his time of need.  All of our food was donated and we had a list of volunteers to help make this day a success that was a mile long.  We cooked up over 300 pounds of chicken and we more than 500 cupcakes baked and donated.  It is such a wonderful tribute to our friend Tim and his family."

I spoke with Phyllis Newell, a neighbor of Tim's, who was volunteering in the kitchen.  "Everybody just thinks the world of Tim, and when I heard about this benefit I called and said I would do anything for him so put me to work."  I asked her what role she was playing on this benefit day?  "I'm washing dishes and I couldn't be happier," she laughed.

Tim is a motor vehicle equipment mechanic at several area New York State Police barracks.  Many NYSP members were in attendance, several in uniform, to help their co-worker.  One, Chris Masi, said, "Tim has an unbelievable work ethic.  He is such a pro.  He will do anything to help anybody in the force and we couldn't be prouder being here to support our friend and such a nice, good man."

No totals were available at the time of publication, but from what I saw and heard this was a rousing success.  Congratulations to the good people of Hartwick for your great spirit.

And to Tim and Vicky West...all of us wish you well in your time of need.  Our prayers are with you!

Tim West is a valued and popular member of the Hartwick Fire Department who is currently suffering from serious health issues.
A parking spot along Hartwick's main street was the hardest thing to find on Sunday!
Volunteers cooked up over 300 pounds of delicious chicken and biscuits for the benefit luncheon


At one point, the line for food went out the front door!
Area bakers contributed over 500 cupcakes for the dessert table
And nobody enjoyed those cupcakes quite as much as Graham Schallert, age four!!