HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Dozens of people in Luzerne County helped raise money for a young boy whose life drastically changed forever after being in a serious car crash this summer.
Rounds of street hockey, hot homemade meals, and raffle baskets were all a part of a fundraiser on Sunday at Beech Street Park in Hazleton.
The support was to help raise money for 14-year-old Jacob Slusser, a member of the Barn Burners Hazleton Street Hockey League.
“When you see something happen to a person or a family, everyone wants to pull together and get together in the community, and our hockey community we want to do the same,” said Hazleton Street Hockey League President David Keck.
Slusser has played hockey for most of his life but is now unable to walk and is in a wheelchair after suffering serious injuries in a car crash this summer.
The Hazleton Street Hockey League, friends, and family want Jacob to still feel a part of the sport he has grown up loving and playing.
“He worked as hard as any kid could have imagineably work at learning how to do and live in a wheelchair. Very thankful for everybody that has come out supported us, has shown the love and care. You know It’s very appreciated and from the bottom of our hearts we thank everybody,” Jacob’s Dad, Dwayne Slusser, explained.
“I miss it a lot. These people bro. They are good friends,” Jacob said.
Jacob says he is in a healing and recovery phase after going through multiple surgeries, and that it can be years before finding out if he will walk again, but doctors say there is a good chance.
“It just hurts really hard in the heart because you don’t want to see something happen to a young man who has his whole life ahead of him,” David said.
“I hope to see him just walking again, try and play a sport, if not I want to see him walk at least to feel better about himself and to accomplish something,” Hazleton Street Hockey League Phantoms team Gavin Keck said.
Organizers of the event had a goal of raising close to $4,000 dollars on sunday.
Jacob’s family says they are looking to use the money raised to help with house renovations and more wheelchair accessibility items.