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Valley IronPigs give away free funeral on ‘Celebration
of Life’ night.
August 20, 2013 at Coca-Cola Park, Allentown, PA
It started as
just another wacky promotion, the brainchild of IronPigs general
manager Kurt Landes. After all, how many baseball teams give away
funerals? It ended as an answer to a prayer for 64-year-old Steve
Paul of Freemansburg. Two months ago in early June, Paul was diagnosed
with ALS. A few weeks later, Paul was attending an IronPigs game
when he heard about the promotion that would award a prepaid funeral
based on an essay describing the applicant's ideal funeral.
Landes said the
contest drew around 50 entries, including one from Atlanta who
acknowledged they would be unable to travel north for the game
but wanted to be part of such a "unique" promotion. Most
of the entries came from middle-aged to elderly applicants, although
Landes said a few came from younger entrants.
a funeral package from Reichel Funeral Home, of Northampton, that
includes a casket, funeral direction, body removal, embalming or
cremation, the use of a hearse & facility for services. The
Northampton Headstone Co. threw in a headstone worth up to $,500,
Richmar Florist of Bethlehem & Allentown will provide a casket
spray worth $300.
package is worth up to $10,000. The winner was selected by a panel
that included Landes, IronPigs director of new media Jon Schaeffer,
sales intern Gary Neolis & members of the Reichel Funeral Home,
of Northampton, PA staff. Kevin Reichel can be seen in the photo.
of Reichel Funeral Home, Northampton, PA & Ben Porobenski of
from Northampton Memorial Co. present Steve Paul & his daughter
Robyn Paul, of Freemansburg Pa with a free funeral during a promotional
event in the middle of the sixth inning of the Lehigh Valley Iron
Pigs minor league baseball game against the Scranton/Wilkes Barre
RailRiders Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, at Coca-Cola Park, in Allentown,
Pa. Lindsey Knupp, director of promotions and entertainment for
the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs minor league baseball team, reads the
winning essay written by Steve Paul.
FROM A SPECTATOR IN THE STANDS
I attended the
Iron Pigs game on Tuesday, Aug 20th. I was very moved by what happened
there. The man who received the funeral wrote a simple but poignant
essay describing his disease, ALS. There wasn't a dry eye in the
house and he received a standing ovation. I applaud you for doing
this, because you really did help a family in need. And that is
what it is all about, isn't it?