Benefit Held for Farm Family that’s Fallen on Hard Times

NICHOLSON, Pa. -- In Wyoming County, a benefit was held for a family that's fallen on hard times both personally and professionally.

Hazel Darling had to wipe away a lot of tears on Sunday. She was also given a lot of hugs. After all, the last few months have been very tough for her and her family.

"In December, we lost our family farm. Then on January 21, our house burnt," Darling said. "We had a fire inside the house that pretty much gutted the whole entire side of the house."

Because the dairy industry has fallen on hard times, Hazel and her husband Mark had to fold their dairy farm in Benton Township that's been in the family since the 1940s. Then, in late January, their house that's more than 100 years old caught fire.

"It's a farm family, and we're a farm family, and farmers are struggling," Kathleen Borove of Lenox Township said. "When they're in trouble, you kind of try to help out."

"It's very important to share if you can," Pierre Paradis of Nicholson said.

Gin's Tavern near Factoryville whipped up 450 chicken barbecue dinners with that money then going back to the family. People from Lackawanna, Susquehanna, and Wyoming counties were there to show their support. Members of the Lackawanna Trail football team helped hand out the meals in Nicholson.

"The Darling family is wonderful people," Lackawanna Trail football coach Steve Jervis said. (Their son) Caleb played quarterback for us back in 2010 & 2011. We always talk about Lion pride runs deep, and it's forever, and anything we can ever do to help our extended football family, we want to do that."

The benefit continued at the newly remodeled Belvedere Entertainment Center. Various gift baskets were raffled off, followed by pool and corn hole tournaments, all to assist the Darling family.

"Overwhelming is the only thing I can think of," Darling added. "So thankful, so very thankful."

A GoFundMe page has also been started for the Darling family.

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