Catasauqua Press

Thursday, February 20, 2020
PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL CMILFred Knauss, Michael Koniers, Becky Yost and Brian Riedy, pastor of Holy Trinity Memorial Lutheran Church, 604 Fourth St., Catasauqua, gather for a photo during a check presentation Jan. 9 at the church. During a December 2019 prime rib dinner fundraiser, the church raised $2,000 for Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors. PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL CMILFred Knauss, Michael Koniers, Becky Yost and Brian Riedy, pastor of Holy Trinity Memorial Lutheran Church, 604 Fourth St., Catasauqua, gather for a photo during a check presentation Jan. 9 at the church. During a December 2019 prime rib dinner fundraiser, the church raised $2,000 for Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors.

Wounded Warriors gets $2,000 check from Holy Trinity

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Becky Yost and Michael Koniers, volunteers with Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors, stopped by Holy Trinity Memorial Lutheran Church, 604 Fourth St., Catasauqua, Jan. 9 to receive a $2,000 donation from the church congregation.

The Pennsylvania organization is not affiliated with the national organization.

“We are all volunteers, so our administrative costs are low. Most of our costs are for printed materials,” Yost said.

Koniers is a U.S. Navy rescue swimmer who served in Vietnam.

“We have an extensive screening process, so we are helping those who need assistance,” he said.

Veterans are referred to the charitable group by the Veterans Affairs and local veterans assistance groups.

The donation was made possible by a prime rib dinner that Holy Trinity sponsored in December 2019.

“We are fortunate that we have so many local people supporting this worthy cause. Bob Edmonston, who is with JBS Packaging, worked with his company and donated all the prime rib we used for the dinner. Their help, along with the people who showed up for our dinner event, allowed us to give a large donation to help out wounded veterans in our state,” Pastor Brian Riedy said at the ceremony.

The Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors organization was founded by MG Gerald Sajer and his wife, Helen, in 2006. Sajer passed away, but his wife continues to be active in the organization. They founded the organization when their son, LTC Frank Sajer, returned from Iraq.

They started out simply with visits to Walter Reed Army Medical Center and bringing wounded soldiers and their families to their farm in Adams County. Helen is a registered nurse and is able to assess special care requirements and dietary restrictions.

Word spread among the veteran community, and now, Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors is able to help veterans in a variety of ways.

For example, a veteran’s wife was traveling to visit her husband at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, during the height of the gas crisis. Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors stepped in with gas cards to ease the financial burden of the journey.

“That’s what we do. We try to respond to an emergency in 24 hours,” Yost said.

More than half of the donations are used for housing and home repair. Twenty percent is used for basic utilities. The rest is spread out for medical bills, groceries and emergency assistance. Administrative costs are under 5 percent.

Holy Trinity wants to keep the support for Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors going. Another prime rib dinner is in the works for this year.