Spaghetti dinner to raise funds for child with disability

A spaghetti dinner to raise funds for a service dog for a disabled child of Penn State alumni will be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec, 7, at Penn State New Kensington’s Café 780. Seven-year-old Richard Klingensmith, whose parents attended the campus, needs a dog that is trained to his specific needs.

Richard has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) and seizures. The motor skill disabilities place him at risk for falls. He also suffers from multiple disorders, including anxiety and ADHD, which contribute to his constant need for routines.

“He needs familiar places and people, which makes interacting in social situations extremely difficult,” said Aileen Huang Klingensmth, Richard’s mother. “He tends to have severe meltdowns when he is in a situation that is unfamiliar or has too many stimuli involved or is too crowded and noisy. At times, his first response to an unwanted situation is to flee the area or scene without regard to his safety."

A service dog would help curb Richard’s behaviors, provide seizure alerts, and keep him safe at home, as well as in the community. These multi-purpose dogs are trained by 4 Paws for Ability, a nonprofit agency that places task-trained service dogs with children with disabilities and veterans who have lost use of limbs or hearing. The Ohio-based organization trains the dogs to meet the specific needs of the individual.

“We believe this dog will have a dramatically positive impact on our lives,” Klingensmith said. “Not only will the dog make life safer and less stressful for him, it will also be a constant best friend who loves him unconditionally. That’s a blessing for a child who has to undergo many medical procedures, therapies, and doctor’s visits to maintain his health.”

Admission to the spaghetti dinner is $7 for adults and $5 for children. The event features the dinner, raffles and bake sale.

The cost of training a dog is $22,000. The Klingensmith’s goal is to raise $13,000 toward the total. In addition to supporting the spaghetti dinner, tax-deductible donations can be made online or by mail.

To donate online, visit and include the name, Richard Klingensmith in PayPal’s “Instructions to Merchant.”

To donate by mail, make checks payable to "4 Paws for Ability" and send to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Richard Klingensmith, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385. Write “In Honor of Richard Klingensmith” on the memo line.

For more information, contact Aileen Klingensmith at 610-438-4748 or

For more about 4 Paws for Ability, visit

Media Contacts: 

Bill Woodard

Work Phone: 
Home Phone: 
Cell Phone: 

Alumni and Public Relations Specialist

Last Updated December 04, 2013