Thanks to you, people and organizations get the support they need

Posted Dec. 17, 2010, at 1:43 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 11:41 a.m.

Follow-up is essential, no matter what the story.

In this column, I am happy to provide you an update on a few of the people and organizations I’ve written about lately.

I am sure you will appreciate, as I did, learning about the kind support people offer others in a variety of ways.

Many readers will recall the column I wrote on Wednesday, Dec. 1, that told the story of Tim Higgins of Bangor with the headline, “In a split second, injury disrupts project, and life.”

It told of Tim’s fall off a ladder when he and his young son were working on a special family project: Building the long-dreamed-for tree house in the big old pine tree in the backyard of their Kenduskeag Avenue home.

Needless to say, Tim’s fall changed his life forever because he shattered his ankle so badly it detached from his leg.

Surgery is helping to keep the leg together so that, someday, Tim can walk and return to work but, in the meantime, Tim, his wife, Marsha Higgins, and their four children are facing an immediate future with Dad at home and Mom working part-time.

On Saturday, Dec. 4, the local Knights of Columbus hosted a benefit spaghetti dinner and a silent and a dessert auction for the family at All Saints Catholic School in Bangor, to help them through this difficult financial time.

Tim wrote me recently “on behalf of myself and my family” so they could, publicly, “thank everyone who participated and contributed” to that benefit on their behalf.

“The event was beyond belief; the hall filled to capacity, the food and drink was excellent; the atmosphere was filled with good music and conversation and holiday cheer, so much so that even Father Christmas would be proud,” Tim wrote.

“The generosity was overwhelming.

“It was so nice to see everyone; so many old friends and many new ones. As they say, a good time was had by all.

“To say thank you doesn’t seem hardly enough, but by folks giving so much, so unselfishly, has shown my family the best part of our Maine community.

“You all should be very proud of all (your) efforts in the success of this simple giving.”

“God Bless us, everyone!”

In this column on Wednesday, Nov. 3, I told you about a benefit for Wendy Chamberlain of Carmel who fell off the horse she was riding when it stumbled, in early October, on an Acadia National Park carriage road.

The benefit, hosted by friends, family, fellow horse enthusiasts and members of Carmel Union Congregational Church, featured a dinner and silent auction at the Carmel Snowmobile Club.

And while her injuries were very serious and the fear was that she would be paralyzed, Wendy’s recovery has been much better than expected.

After extensive surgery she was able to return home and to begin physical therapy and rehabilitation.

Recently, I received an e-mail from one of the benefit’s organizers, Sandi Oliver.

For Wendy, and for those who organized this fundraiser, Sandi extends a “big thank you” to everyone who attended, contributed to or participated, in any way, in helping make this benefit for Wendy “a grand success,” Sandi wrote.

“We had a sellout crowd, with standing room only.

“We fed 248 people, and everyone was way beyond generous” in every way from the size of their donations at the door to attend the meal to contributing items for the auction and then bidding on them.

”We raised $6,000 with the dinner” and the auction, Sandi wrote.

“It was an amazing night, and Wendy was there and very overwhelmed with emotion.”

Sandi expressed her own thanks “for the wonderful friends” she and Wendy share and how grateful she is “that we all came together to make this event happen.”

Obviously, many of you responded to the suggestion of Halfway Home Pet Rescue of Caribou supporter Robyn Smith when I wrote on Friday, Oct. 29, about that organization’s attempt to win $1,000 or up to $10,000 by voting for HHPR in The Animal Rescue Site $100,000 Holiday Shelter+Challenge.

Norma Milton, HHPR president, is thrilled with your response because, as of this week, HHPR had moved into the No. 1 spot in Maine and, if it remains in that position, it could win enough money to be used for seed funding to obtain its own building.

Voting ends Sunday, Dec. 19.

I’ve been voting for HHPR and you can, too, by going to www.halfwayhomepetrescue.org/index.html.

Scroll down to “Vote for HHPR” then go “To Vote Click Here” and follow the directions.

Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; javerill@bangordailynews.com; 990-8288.

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