EAST CHILLISQUAGUE TOWNSHIP– Larry Troxell has only owned a tavern for a week, but one of the first things he did after opening LT’s near Milton was organize a benefit for Sharon Budd.
The Ohio woman and her family were traveling to New York City earlier this month when a group of teens allegedly tossed a boulder from an I-80 overpass in Union County.
The rock crashed through the windshield and hit Sharon Budd in the face. She was critically injured and has endured brain surgeries, facial reconstruction, and the loss of an eye.
Troxell says after hearing about what happened, he wanted to do anything he could to help.
“A woman who battled breast cancer, a teacher, just on vacation with her family, come on, that shouldn’t happen!”
With the help of bartender Lori Strickland, he started organizing a benefit ride for Budd.
The response was overwhelming. Registrations and donations rolled in at a rate he never imagined.
On Saturday, more than 250 bikers arrived at LT’s to take part in the Central Pennsylvania #BuddStrong benefit. The goal, raising $10,000 and showing the Budd family that they have the community behind them.
When Sharon’s husband Randy and daughter Kaylee arrived at the event they were greeted by a roar of applause, hugs, and tears.
Randy Budd says,”She is so much of a giver, that I hope one day that I can show her this, and she will be so impressed.” He adds that despite the tragic injuries to his wife he says Central Pennsylvania is a beautiful place with many caring people.
The route of the ride included Geisinger Medical Center near Danville where Sharon Budd is a patient.
As the riders departed they had a new friend with them.
Sharon’s daughter Kaylee took part, donning a helmet for her first motorcycle ride, and giving the thumbs up as she roared away.