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Picnic in Belleville to aid crash victims


BELLEVILLE — What has become an annual summer tradition of raising money for the Belleville United Methodist Church is now going to help benefit two prominent members of the community here who were seriously injured in a traffic accident.

The Belleville Community Picnic will be held Friday evening at Country Belle Farms on State Route 289. The all-you-can-eat picnic begins at 6 p.m. and musical act The Harvesters will entertain the crowd starting at 7 p.m.

Country Belle Farms is accepting $5 donations at the door. Owner Kurt Gehrke says that 30 percent of the money will go to the Belleville church and 10 percent will be donated to the Belleville Fire Department. The remaining 60 percent will benefit Linda C. Zehr and Tatum L. Langworthy. The two Belleville Henderson Central School employees were injured last month when their vehicle was rear-ended in the town of Manchester on May 30.

Mrs. Zehr, 53, and Mrs. Langworthy, 34, were airlifted to Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, after Ontario County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the three-car crash at 11:59 p.m. May 30. They were on their way home from a Tim McGraw concert at the Constellation Brands Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center (CMAC) venue in Hopefull.

Mrs. Langworthy required a pin to be surgically implanted in her leg but has since returned home. Mrs. Zehr remains at Strong Memorial with a spinal injury and is expected to stay at the hospital for another month or two.

Friends and family are hopeful that Mrs. Zehr will be able to walk again.

“They both do everything for everybody,” Mr. Gehrke said. “They are such giving people.”

Belleville Henderson Central School raised money for the two women last week by allowing donors to wear hats, something that is otherwise prohibited, during the school day. The school raised more than $2,200 for Mrs. Zehr, the cafeteria’s cook manager, and Mrs. Langworthy, a teacher’s assistant.

“Like all small communities, when faced with adversity we all come together,” District Superintendent Rick T. Moore said. “We have wonderful employees who do everything for these families. Everybody loves them.”

Mr. Moore commended technology teacher and senior class advisor Matt Soluri for spearheading the June 6 benefit.

In addition to the donations at Friday’s picnic, Mrs. Zehr and Mrs. Langworthy will receive all of the money collected during a Chinese auction, as well as tips collected at Country Belle Farm’s ice cream stand.

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