The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

June 29, 2013

VIDEO | Battle of bands memorializes Nanty Glo musician

NANTY GLO — Those who knew Mike Worthington, or shared his passion for music, will say the local Nanty Glo music scene lost one of its brightest stars in 2006. That year, the 24-year-old became the victim of a hit-and-run accident while he was in Florida studying music recording.

Worthington left behind a daughter and, a pregnant  fiance, but his dynamic force of personality still echoes through the Nanty Glo Pool and Park. Each year, his family and friends gather there for a benefit concert, surrounding themselves in the sounds that Worthington loved: Hard rock and heavy metal.

“(He was) so much more than a talented musician,” said his cousin, Lloyd Rummell, who organizes the annual event. “He was definitely destined for great things. If he was still around, I’m sure he’d have a few CDs out.”

On Saturday, the second   annual Mike Worthington Memorial Benefit brought out four area rock groups for a battle of the bands contest. 10 Million Devils, Blood Union, Juke Left and Rummell’s band, One Adam 12, competed for a top cash prize of $250, along with claim to the Mike Worthington Cup trophy.

Admission was $7; $5 if attendants brought a non perishable food item to be donated to the Nanty Glo Food Pantry. Portions of the annual concert’s proceeds go toward college funds for Worthington’s daughters, Taylor, 14, and Michaela, 6.

A $500 scholarship is awarded in Worthingon’s name each year to a student from Blacklick Valley High School, where Worthington graduated in 2000.

This year’s scholarship was awarded in May.

“It felt great to do that,” said Worthington’s mother, Susan, who was very close to her

firstborn son.

She works to honor him through the benefit concert, even though the T-shirts and posters that bear his face make it difficult at times.

“It took us years to get past (his death),” she said. “But, I always wanted to do something to keep his memory alive with all his friends.”

Without those friends, Mike might have never latched onto music as he did, according to Rummell. He said Mike was very athletic and came from a football family.

“Me and my cousin had an idea to start a band, so we went up to Mike’s house and talked him into quitting football,” Rummell said. “We forced him (into it) and he loved it.”

Rummell said Susan was less than pleased. Over time, however, she grew into his biggest supporter. On Saturday she danced alongside Mike’s friends and fans, while One Adam 12 played tunes from bands like Nirvana that had influenced the young musician.

She left the floor when the tears surfaced again.

“It was a really hard loss,” Rummell said. “He was really loved by all of us. He’d walk into a room and it would light up.”

Rummell and his girlfriend, Jenny Shirley, describe themselves as Susan’s “crazy marketing team.” Susan admitted that she couldn’t get the event going without their help, or the bands, whose members all played with or befriended Mike. They eagerly volunteer for the concert’s lineup each year.

“This is the show all the bands look forward to doing,” Rummell said. “He was such a big person. He touched a lot of people’s lives. He had such a good fan base and (a lot of) friends.”

Rummell and Shirley said they look forward to keeping the event going in the years to come.

“It’s like a void is filled now,” Shirley said.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Halfway house inmates can ease back into society

    Prison life can be a time warp.
    When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
    Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crime board took aim at house

    Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
    One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
    Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
    Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.

    April 19, 2014

  • Homicides linked to center

    Three homicides that took place in Johnstown last year involved either a suspect or victim who previously resided in the Community Corrections Center.
    Police Chief Craig Foust confirmed the name of one victim, who spent almost two months in the facility on Washington Street during 2007, a time period verified by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

    April 19, 2014

  • bachota Volunteers helping to spruce up community

    Walls and ceilings inside the Cambria County Library look clean and bright with fresh new coats of paint on them.
    The work was recently done by inmates from the Johnstown Community Corrections Center.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • alanna Hartzok targets income disparity

    Alanna Hartzok described herself as being a conservative progressive.
    The Franklin County resident said she is in favor of conserving environmental resources, education opportunities, Social Security and Medicare, while wanting to progressively address wealth inequality, health care and taxation.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Schools rise to leadership challenge

    Forest Hills and Cambria Heights high school students put the spirit of healthy competition toward a good cause and picked up some lessons in leadership along the way.

    April 19, 2014

  • KATEY LADIKA Student’s photos win awards

    A Forest Hills High School junior has captured several awards in a high school arts and writing contest that has identified greats such as Truman Capote and Andy Warhol.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Siehl JIM SIEHL | Music to my ears

    Seldom has $15 produced such a high level of entertainment as it did a few weeks ago when I found myself in the second row just left of center keeping back the tears once again during my third live performance of “Les Miserables.”

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michele Bender Bye, bye, Easter birdies

    Animals fascinated my mom. Riding the train between Johnstown and Philly, she saw horses, pigs, sheep, cows … a Mattel See ’n Say of farm critters.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill Eggert Columnist Photo Travelogue of terror features Johnstown area

    A historic week will surround the venerable Silver Drive-In come the beginning of May.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos


Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads