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Colver church bounces back with fundraiser following burglary

By: Marc Stempka
Reporter By: Melanie Gillespie

CAMBRIA TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- After being burglarized and stripped of copper about a week ago, a Cambria County church was bouncing back in a big way after a successful fundraising event over the weekend brought some of the biggest crowds ever.

The response from the surrounding community shocked church volunteers, and repairs from the burglary were in place for Sunday's fundraiser at Holy Ascension Church in Colver.

Bonnie Olexa, a church member, was suprised by the response of the community. Colver is a small town with fewer than 1,000 residents and only a few churches.

"These three churches have survived because we're supposed to be here, [and] I believe that, Olexa said.

Sunday was the church's annual basket party fundraiser and since hearing about the burglary and loss of items for the fundraiser, others donated to make up for what was lost.

"They gave us more than what they originally had planned because the church had been broken into, Olexa said.

The church had less than five days to replace the copper piping and ripped ceiling tile after the burglary, church member Charles Olexa said.

"I think with the break-in, it helped. [We] made more money, and people donated more than they usually do, Charles said.

Labor for repairs was donated free of charge, but the church is hoping to use $700 in donations to cover the cost of materials.

"They're donating money from individuals, in various amounts, but it's not the amount that counts, it's the thought, Bonnie said.

Police were continuing to follow leads on the burglary. Anyone with information about the burglary was asked to contact Cambria Township police.

 
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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times

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