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Church dinner to benefit family of Amish baby

A Catholic parish in the Town of Tonawanda is holding a spaghetti dinner this weekend to raise money for the family of Amos Hertzler, the Amish baby who has been in Boston receiving treatment for his complicated medical issues.

Funds raised through the dinner, from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at the St. Edmund's campus of St. Christopher Church, 530 Ellicott Creek Road, will go to the Hertzler Hospital Fund at Cattaraugus County Bank, parish members said.

The community support for the family has been strong, said Mary Brown, a secretary at St. Christopher School who came up with the idea for the benefit dinner.

"It's amazing how people stepped forward to help," Brown said. "I have had people send in donations; they can't make the dinner, but they want to participate. They leave items at the rectory. They don't even leave their names and numbers, but they want to contribute. We have a Girl Scout troop that's coming to help set up tables, because they want to contribute."

Amos Hertzler is a 1-year-old boy who was born to a traditional Amish family in the Southern Tier town of Mansfield. He was born with both Down syndrome and esophageal atresia, a condition in which the esophagus does not connect to the stomach.

Amos has required extensive treatment in Buffalo Women & Children's Hospital and has been most recently in Boston Children's Hospital, where his esophagus was being stretched and reattached.

The Hertzler family, including Amos' parents, Aaron and Katieann, has set up a Hospital Fund for baby Amos at Cattaraugus County Bank. The family had initially projected that they would need to raise at least $250,000 for Amos' care.

Dinners will be $8 for adults and $3 for children 6 and under. Besides the dinner, theme baskets will be auctioned.

"I have wondered about him ever since hearing about him last year," said Brown. "The other thing that struck me was, we often have opportunities to raise funds for needy people, but it's sometimes good to reach beyond your own little community."