PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — More than two years after Ellwood City fireman Dick Streckeisen participated in the department’s ALS ice bucket challenge, he never expected he’d be battling the disease today.
Now, his brothers and sisters in uniform are coming together to make sure he’s not in this battle alone.
The Fall Fest in Ellwood City is an autumn tradition. The new motto for the Lawrence County community is “small town, big living.” And on this day, they proved they’re big on giving, too.
Firefighter Dick Streckeisen will get a big boost from fundraising efforts at the event. Streckeisen was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, back in May.
“He gives himself,” Ellwood City asst. fire chief Josh Coulter said. “He gives his all to everything he does. Whether it’s helping one of the members or helping some member of the actual community.”
And that means supporting causes like the ice bucket challenge, which raises awareness for ALS. When the Ellwood City Fire Department made an ice bucket challenge video two years ago, Streckeisen had no idea he, too, would someday be diagnosed with the devastating illness.
“By irony, he fell victim to the disease, and we felt it was only deserving to him to give back what he always gave,” Coulter said.
Proceeds from t-shirt sales at the Fest will help cover some of the medical costs for the dedicated first responder who they consider a brother.
“The fire department is a family, and he’s not going to go through this alone,” Coulter said.