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Red Knights help toddler severely burned by campfire

By: Jackalyn Kovac

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- The Red Knights of Johnstown are raising money for a Cambria County toddler after he was severely burned during a camping trip earlier in June in Potter County.

Eli Bender accidentally fell into a campfire, leaving at least 30 percent of his body with second and third-degree burns.

"He's doing a little better now but for a while it was touch and go," said Red Knights' secretary Dave Rykala.

Eli's grandfather asked the Knights to help after the tragic event.

The boy spent several weeks at an Allentown area hospital.

The group is scheduling several events to raise money for the tot and his family.

"We're looking at skin grafts and stuff of that nature, so Eli's recovery is going to be ongoing and we're compelled to have our fundraising be an ongoing thing," Rykala said.

S&T Bank is accepting donations at all branches. Donations are to be made payable to the Eli William Bender Benefit Fund.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times