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Inspirational Artist Participating In Butler Co. Chainsaw Carving Contest

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Mike Regan)

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Mike Regan)

CRAWLEY Dave Crawley
Dave Crawley joined KDKA in April of 1988 where he reports on the...
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BUTLER (KDKA) — The Butler Farm Show Grounds are buzzing with activity, at the second annual Butler Chainsaw Carving International.

Turning pine stumps into works of art, carvers in the three-day show are a cut above.

“I have 24 of the best carvers in the United States,” says event co-founder Damian Skal. “Seven world champions. One world champion ice sculptor, Chris Foltz from Oregon. I have a girl named Ragna Reusch Klinkenberg from Germany. She flew all the way over here just for this event.”

The most inspiring story is wounded Marine David Emery. He lost his legs to a suicide bomber in Iraq. But there is nothing wrong with his heart.

The man from Nittany, north of State College, took up chainsaw carving just last summer.

“I carved a bear,” he says. “It was supposed to be a black bear. It turned out looking like a koala bear. I carved a couple more, and they started to look like black bears, and ever since then I’ve been hooked on it.”

David and his wife, Angel, were invited to the event by Steve Monteleone, founder of the non-profit, “It’s About the Warrior Foundation.”

“I said why don’t you come out for the weekend, I’ll get you a hotel, and the foundation will pay for it,” he says. “Hang out and do what you do here. And his eyes lit up. He was like a kid in a candy store.”

Emery relies on his powerful upper body to make up for the leverage he lacks. And it works.

“If I can’t do it because I don’t have legs, I’ll find a way to make it happen,” he says.

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