February 19, 2019


Our Community Really Came Together for the Lukens Family

Our Community Really Came Together for the Lukens Family


by Brian Coll



This past Saturday evening at the Washies Fire Company an event was held. Now, most Saturday nights there is one thing or another happening there. It is a fantastic hall for a wedding, large birthday party, high school reunions and so on. They have hosted their fair share of beef and beers and fundraising events over the years, but….. I don’t know that I have seen one where everyone in the room was full of love for a local family as was hosted there this past Saturday night.


It is rare that the VFW, Washington Fire Company and Conshohocken Fire Company #2 can all come together and create an event. These people did a fantastic job.


I was on the fence about attending this event. I ended up going and I was glad I did, but at one point a friend asked if I was having fun and I had to say no. It was a horrible reason we were all there. It’s been a month and a day hasn’t went by that I haven’t thought of those boys and the pain that family must feel everyday. No matter what we all came together to raise for the family, we can never bring back those precious boys.


During the planning of the event, I was in communication with a number of people that were part of the group planning the event. In no particular order, some of the people involved in planning and running the event were Sue Hauk, Anthony Davis, Ron Januzelli, Lanie Duff, Keith Hand, Walt Hartnett, Tim O’Donnell, Jackie Pierce, Kristen Davis, Andrew and Jackie Carlin, John Costello, The Ingram Family (Dan, Sophia, Leah and Satenique) Bridgett Reed-Holman, Howard Daywalt, Jen Hauk, and Andrea Anderson. I apologize if I left anyone out.


As the evening was well underway, there was a slow building hush, the room was so full of people that even the DJ couldn’t get everyones attention. It took a couple of minutes, but finally the room slowly got quiet. The volunteers and planners of the event took a spot by the DJ and held a moment of silence. You could have heard a pin drop. As the moment passed, Sal Giannone one of the organizers took the microphone to thank everyone for coming and his message was a reminder as to why we were all there that night, and why we are such a great community, but the point I took home was why we are here on earth, to spend time with those we love, because life is short and can be fragile and people we love can be taken away at a moments notice.


It is amazing what a few people can do when push comes to shove. From what I understand a few people started working on planning something, and then as people realized the reach that Bryan Lukens and his family have in the community different groups started to reach out to one another. I may have some of the facts slightly wrong here and forgive me, but I believe Bryan Lukens mom is a lifelong Washies member while Bryan and his father were both members of Conshohocken Fire Company #2 at certain points, and Bryan is a vet and the VFW was looking to host an event as well. So, when you get these great organizations together good things can happen.


I wish, I wish we didn’t have to be there for that reason. There were so many good people in that room, so much love. I wish all these good Conshy people could get together for a fun occasion or no occasion at all. While it was god to see and talk to people, some old friends, some new friends, and some people I didn’t know at all, there was a look in most peoples eye about why we were there. I hope I never have to attend an event like this again. Tragedy brings out the best in people and there is no other place I would rather be that Conshohocken if tragedy is to strike. I know our community will come together.


The items that were being raffled off were the most impressive collection of items I have ever seen for an event like this. I don’t think you will find a more giving community. Everything was given freely, all within the past month. I can’t thank everyone for everything that filled an entire raffle room, but one item comes to mind, a $4,000 ring donated by Joe and Michelle Bucci of Bucci Jewelry. Joe and Michelle are great people and this was an amazing thing to give for the family.


All in all, over $20,000 was raised this past Saturday night. I wish, I wish it didn’t have to be raised. I wish that fire never happened. I wish Bryan and his family still had the two boys to hug and kiss at night. I am so sorry for your loss.

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