The holiday hustle and bustle, what a special time of year! I would always run into my friend Dave Sechler. He would be ringing the bell and accepting donations on behalf of the Salvation Army.
Dave was as good as they come. A Christian man who devoted his life to the Salvation Army and helping others. Dave left us this past year and if you would like to refresh your memory you can read my column from June 4th - So Long Sech... at webbweekly.com.
Our friendship was first built from basketball. As years passed I realized Dave was providing more than hoops at the Salvation Army. Whatever was needed Dave would do and he cared about everyone.
I believe part of his work for the Lord was running the gymnasium. So many friendships were created; generations played against and befriended the next generation. Dave gave so much of his time in the name of basketball. The Sal was hallowed hardwood for anybody and everybody as far as local basketball goes.
The best part of Dave spending all those hours in the gym was the money he collected from players of all ages went directly into the Salvation Army's coffers. It was used to fund and support their center and programs.
A few months back Mr. Kent Bennett and Mr. Anthony Perrotta asked for help in raising money to support the Salvation Army. Both give much time and effort to the organization. They also asked for ideas on how to honor and remember Dave Sechler.
I'm sure by now they both think I forgot about it. I do tend to procrastinate until the right time or thought hits me.
The other day I was heading into Kmart, there was a traditional “Red Kettle” and gentlemen ringing the bell. This was the last place I saw my pal Sech. Our paths would cross every Christmas season while he was doing God's work for those who need a helping hand.
I have missed seeing him smiling and ringing that bell. Dave was one of those guys you thought would always be there. He loved and cared about people. Always happy, smiling and working on something.
So enough about the past. Let's remember and honor Dave and move to the present. I want to make sure Sech's “Red Kettle” is full this year and every year. This is what he would want. By filling that kettle the Salvation Army can do all the great work he believed in.
I call out to all the good people that played at "The Sal" to help in remembering Dave and to continue his work.
The Henningers, Nolans, Niklauses, The Paganas, Greicos and Casales. The Baggetts, Tates, Wilsons and Burchs. The Beiters and the Buchners. And to all the families that went up and down the court, I need your help.
Randy Glunk, Dutch Bogaczyk, Lefty Travis and John Neylon. Judge Dudley Anderson, Charlie Levering and Jack Ruppert. Principal Dwight Woodley, A.D. Scott Hill, Coach Paul Petcavage, Jeff Hewlett. Tom Burkholder, The Miller twins, Mike Stanzione and John Hall. Dave Hane and Chris Sullivan. My list could fill the pages of the paper, but I'll stop here.
I need your help gentlemen. I will have a Red Salvation Army Kettle set up at my office. Please stop by and make whatever donation you can make. Spread the word to others of what we are doing in memory of Sech. For the effort of dropping in and helping a good cause I’ll shake your hand and give you a Webb Weekly coffee mug and of course, catch up. I look forward to seeing you. If I'm not in the office, Kristy, Nickie or Steph will make sure you get a mug and a thank you. Please no telling stories about me if I'm not there, and no, I'm not ringing the bell for you.
If you're too busy to stop over to Southside, please mail a donation if possible. Office info will be at the end of the column.
If you would like to help and have never set foot in the Salvation Army, I would love to have your support in Dave's name, same offer holds.
Last but not least, my staff and I will match all donations made through the Webb Weekly. Let's get this celebration of Dave's life, and help the Salvation Army help others, off to a great start. All donations will be used locally.
God Bless and thank you.
c/o Remembering Sech
280 Kane St. Suite 2
South Williamsport PA 17702