Get ready for the 9th annual Harzfest!! A benefit in honor of a man lost – but never forgotten!

March 4, 2020

Written By

Mary Friona Celani

Get ready for the ninth annual Harzfest this Saturday!!!!  It will feature food and drinks, live music and raffles of more than 100 gift baskets and 21 “big-ticket” prizes.

Since 2012, the Jim Harszlak Foundation has raised more than $137,000 for scholarships and community members in need.

It’s an event that has become pretty epic around here. It is a celebration of the man it is named for, Jim Harszlak. Jim was diagnosed with Stage Four Colon Cancer in 2010. He had chemotherapy and a variety of treatments. As Jim got sicker, friends and family decided to plan a benefit. The benefit, which became known as ‘Harzfest’ was February 18, 2012. Jim died just seven months later.

Those same friends and family who’d thrown that benefit wanted to make it an annual event. A way to pay tribute to and honor Jim Harszlak, who’d always been there for others. For Susan Holler-Harszlak it is an important day for her husband’s friends, family and the community. Susan told me in a previous interview – that this community is always there and it means the world. “Helping others has helped me to heal and his family and friends heal and carry on Jim’s spirit of giving to other’s in his memory. Jim was not a financially rich man, but he gave to others first.”

The group gives to important causes, wonderful families in need of help. They’ve given to the Vaillancourt family, 3-year-old Ethan Ashcroft and this year, Mikey’s Heart Journey. Their work is felt in the community. Thanks to their incredible group of volunteers, they’ve helped adults and families with medical bills, grocery bills and other living expenses. They’ve helped children battling cancer and other awful diseases. They give out scholarships to Tonawanda, North Tonawanda, and Bethesda Youth Group students. They partner with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Northtowns helping children reach their full potential. They help local organizations like Warmth for Hungry Hearts, St. Francis Outreach, Christmas for Kids and many others.

That is why this fundraiser is so important!! They’ll have hundreds of baskets, live music, good food and plenty of fun.

This amazing event grows each year as more and more people realize the incredible work the Jim Harszlak Foundation does. They have given away a total of – get ready for this – $137,000!!!!  AMAZING!!

WHAT: 9th Annual Harzfest

WHERE: Eldredge Bicycle Club, 17 Broad St., City of Tonawanda

WHEN: Saturday, March 7th from 3-10 pm

COST: Tickets are $25 at the door

WHAT TO EXPECT: Music, raffles (more than 100 gift baskets), food and fun!


About Me

Welcome to Totally Buffalo! My name is Mary Friona-Celani and I am the creator of this site! After spending 20 years in the Buffalo media, I moved on to focus on my beautiful family. Now, the time has come for a new project. I was ready for something new. Something mine.
I am born and raised in WNY and my pride runs deep. My husband, Scott and I are very happy to be raising our four daughters here.






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