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'How many more lives did my cousin save?' shooting victim's relative asks; bars set up fundraisers to help

By Dan Miller danmiller@pressandjournal.com
Posted 3/31/17

The central Pennsylvania bar and restaurant community is rallying around two of its own.Bars and restaurants from New Cumberland to Palmyra have been holding events and planning more events to raise …

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'How many more lives did my cousin save?' shooting victim's relative asks; bars set up fundraisers to help


The central Pennsylvania bar and restaurant community is rallying around two of its own.
Bars and restaurants from New Cumberland to Palmyra have been holding events and planning more events to raise money to help David Seesholtz and Andy Cole, who were wounded in the shooting at the River House Bar & Grill in Londonderry Township early Friday, March 24.
Cole is a River House bartender, and Seesholtz is a longtime regular customer and friend of the business at East Harrisburg Pike and Geyers Church Road.

The River House is also holding its own event, with help from Susquehanna Harley-Davidson.

On Sunday, April 30, a “Here With Heroes” ride will go from Susquehanna Harley-Davidson at 6300 Allentown Blvd. to the River House Bar & Grill in Londonderry Township. The event is “non-rider and kid friendly,” according to a Facebook post promoting the event.

Rider registration takes place at 11 a.m. at Susquehanna Harley-Davidson. Event tickets for $20 and merchandise may also be purchased on site.

The ride will take about one hour to get to the River House, where the event will continue with a pig roast, live music, cornhole, a pong tournament, a wing-eating competition, a sack race, T-shirt purchases and “Snapchat filter fun.” The event will last until 10 p.m.

All proceeds from the event will go to benefit Cole and Seesholtz.

Babe’s Grill House

In Palmyra, Babe’s Grill House & Lounge at 312 E. Main St. is holding a daylong event to raise money for Seesholtz and Cole on Thursday, April 13.
Babe’s owner Dave Deimler and Seesholtz are cousins. Cole is a Babe’s customer, said Deimler, who has been bartending since he was 18.
The event runs from 11:30 a.m. to midnight and will include a special menu with beers, raffles with over 50 gift certificates and prizes. Live acoustic music starts at 8 p.m., but music will be going on “pretty much all day” of the event, Deimler said.
Babe’s will also set up a “to go” section for people who want to stop by and pick up food and show their support by donating, but who cannot stay to enjoy the activities.
The shooting at the River House remains an active investigation under Pennsylvania State Police. State police late Friday afternoon March 24 filed a long list of charges against 21-year-old Tanner Allen Stark of Mount Joy.
GoFundMe accounts have been created for both Cole and Seesholtz. The GoFundMe for Cole had raised $23,235 toward a goal of $25,000 as of Friday, March 31. The GoFundMe for Seesholtz had raised $8,310 toward a goal of $10,000.
The Seesholtz GoFundMe account calls Seesholtz a hero for his actions during the incident at the River House. “NOT ALL HEROS WEAR CAPES!” the post accompanying the GoFundMe account says of Seesholtz.
Deimler agrees. Seesholtz “for sure 100 percent” saved the life of Andy Cole, and possibly many more, Deimler said.
“That guy (Stark) was shooting blindly into the building,” Deimler told the Press & Journal. “How many more shots was he going to put in? How many more lives did my cousin save?”
The Babe’s event will raise money for both Seesholtz and Cole, but it is Cole who is in greatest need, Deimler said.
“He is the one who will be in the hospital forever and will be a different person for the rest of his life,” Deimler said.
Cole is also a new father, Deimler added.
More than 50 businesses have committed to donating gift certificates to the April 13 event at Babe’s, Deimler said.
They come from all over the area — from Mechanicsburg to Hershey to Palmyra.
“There’s alot of good people who are trying to help out people who had a bad draw,” Deimler said.

Fratelli’s in New Cumberland
Perhaps earliest out of the gate was Fratelli’s Towne Tavern in New Cumberland, which donated 10 percent of all food sales on the night of March 24 to Cole.
There wasn’t much time to promote that first event, so Fratelli’s is planning a much bigger event for sometime in mid-April, said Fratelli’s General Manager Dan Rickabaugh.
“My goal is to raise at least $2,000” with proceeds to be divided equally between Cole and Seesholtz, said Rickabaugh.
Rickabaugh and several others who work at Fratelli’s are close to Cole and Seesholtz, and also with the owners of the River House Bar & Grill.
“We all know them very, very well,” Rickabaugh said. “They are people in the industry, the same as us.”
Showing solidarity is important because what happened at the River House can happen at any bar or restaurant anywhere, Rickabaugh said. Fratell’s will post more information regarding the upcoming event on its Facebook page, and the event will also be promoted by the Hot 93.5 WWKL-FM radio station, he added.

Champions in Highspire
In Highspire, Champions Sports Bar & Grill began accepting donations for Seesholtz and Cole on Saturday, March 25. Donation buckets have been set up throughout the bar and dining room and the drive will continue through April 8, according to a post on Champion’s Facebook page.
In addition, 10 percent of proceeds from all sales at Champions on Thursday, March 30, went to aid in the recovery of the two men.
Champions will do the same thing again on Thursday, April 6 — donating 10 percent of proceeds from all sales throughout the day to Seesholtz and Cole.
Champions is also hosting a benefit from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 30, with all proceeds going toward Seesholtz and Cole, Champions’ owner Tyler Schmidt told the Press & Journal.
Event tickets will be $20. The event will include bands, giveaways, silent auctions, food, and beer. Updates with more information on the April 30 event will be posted on the Champions Facebook page.
Schmidt and Seesholtz graduated from the same class at Lower Dauphin High School. Schmidt prefers not to say how long ago.
Schmidt knows Andy as a bartender from Schmidt being in the bar business himself.
“I understand what they are going through,” Schmidt said, referring to the River House family as well as Seesholtz and Cole. “It’s just a shame. We just want to help out and do what we can.”
As Fratelli’s Rickabaugh put it, “This goes to show how all the different bars pull together to help take care of one of their own.”