Holiday Comes Early Thanks to Montgomery Legion Riders
Young Nathaniel Hagenbuch was adamant. The four-year-old did not want to have anything to do with the white-bearded man in the red suit who arrived at the Montgomery American Legion last Saturday afternoon. But after watching his sister, Hannah, make friends with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Nathaniel decided that he was brave enough to sit in his mom’s lap to open a few presents. After all, this was a party arranged especially for Nathaniel, his nine-year-old sister, and his parents, Shannon and Daniel, of Montandon.
According to Steven Klapp, president of the Montgomery Legion Riders 251, this is the third year that the local motorcycle group has adopted a child with special needs for the holiday. This year, the Riders chose the Hagenbuch family, who has been struggling this year as Daniel undergoes dialysis due to renal failure and his wife, Shannon, has been diagnosed with cancer. Their son, Nathaniel, suffers from congenital torticollis and frontal lobe brain injury and requires speech and physical therapy.
Thanks to the generosity of area businesses in Montgomery, Muncy, Watsontown, Hughesville and Turbotville, the Legion Riders raised approximately $3,000, half of which was given to the family to offset medical and other expenses. Gifts were purchased for the children, including Nathaniel’s favorites – Thomas the Train and Sponge Bob Square Pants – DVDs to play on a new TV, a new bike for Hannah and a Power Wheels car for a very excited four-year-old boy.
To help make the holidays a little brighter for even more children, the Legion Riders donated $500 to the Watsontown Police Department and the Montgomery American Legion donated $500 to the Montgomery Christmas Committee, who delivers food and toys to local families in need.