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Friends light up street for ailing deputy fire chief

By Jennifer Joas, Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 31 2013 09:31:53 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 31 2013 09:48:51 PM CST

Sparklers, glow sticks and portable lights lit up Octagon Avenue in Sinking Spring Tuesday night all for one man battling brain cancer.

SINKING SPRING, Pa. -

Sparklers, glow sticks and portable lights lit up Octagon Avenue in Sinking Spring Tuesday night all for one man battling brain cancer.

"He became a mentor to me. I looked up to him. He taught me everything I know about fire fighting,” said Keith Kerns who organized the "Light up the Night" event.

Keith Kerns is talking about Ronnie Wentzel, also known as "Moose."

Ronnie was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer two years ago. He was only given months to live, but has been battling the disease for two years now.

So Kerns planned for community members to come out and light up Ronnie's yard to show their love and support for him.

“Ronnie was the salt of the earth and would do anything for anybody,” said Becky Donhue who worked alongside Ronnie when he was the West Lawn Police Chief.

Ronnie is currently the deputy fire chief in Reading and has previously served as a police chief and EMT.

"When someone is in dire need of help, that was the man right there. He helped out a lot of people. He was there for everybody. Just an amazing person," said friend Al Himmelberger.

Close to a hundred people came out tonight just hoping to put a smile on Ronnie’s face during this difficult time.

"Hopefully we will get that big smile on his face and maybe bring a tear to his eye because he knows these people are praying for him and pulling for him,” said Kerns.

"Just know that people love him. People care about him. People did not forget about him," said Himmelberger.