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Seated in front is Nathan and standing, from left, are event organizer Bree Orlowski, Nathan’s mother, Carolyn; father, Bob; brother, Adam and sister Natalie Buchinski. Article and photo courtesy of The Times-Tribune

Two years ago, the community rallied around Nathan Buchinski’s family to get him a bike, and Sunday they stepped up again to help.

Hundreds of people crowded the Eagle Hose Co. fire hall Sunday for a fundraiser to buy the Buchinskis a wheelchair accessible van.

Nathan, 10, has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair. He is getting bigger, and it’s becoming difficult for his parents to lift him into their van. They’re looking to purchase a modified Ford Transit van, so they’ll no longer have to lift Nathan and his power chair to travel.

But they never asked for a blowout fundraiser.

Nathan’s mom, Carolyn Buchinski, wiped tears from her eyes as music from a DJ’s booth boomed and people swarmed around her.

A group of friends had planned the fundraiser without her knowing it almost until the end.

“It shows our community can come together for something good,” she said. “There are a lot of good people out there. You don’t think that there are, but there are.”

Although his disability seriously limits his mobility and ability to speak, Nathan remains as active as ever.

He’s part of the Pride Squad cheerleading team, a mid valley group for children with special needs, he plays Challenger Baseball and he’s a Boy Scout, his mom said.

Two years ago, Nathan was at the center of an organization called the Bike Blessing, which was formed after donations helped his family buy an adaptive bike, one with three wheels designed specifically for him. St. Joseph’s Center in Scranton still runs the organization, and center President Sister Maryalice Jacquinot, who attended Sunday’s fundraiser, said they gave away three bikes earlier this year.