Thanks to your support, the Groomers Emergency Assistance Fund was able to help six groomers in its first year. They were Christine Kalencki Buff, Monica Torelli, Christine Trombino Dunkerley, Tracy Wright, Jennifer Westenskow Patarino, and DeAnne D Orive.
A word from each of them:
From Christine Kalencki Buff:
I am on the path to recovery, but still a bit more to go. I was able to pay the bills to keep a roof over my head and my business open. We are still in temporary housing, and still looking for a place for my business, but I almost lost them both as well so I am very grateful for what you all have done for me. I still have hope when even that was almost taken as well. I worked so hard to get where I was, to have it all taken has been pretty devastating. To have a community to help keep my family afloat while we figured it out has been the much-needed support we were desperately looking for. Once we get all the way back on our feet we will be showing our gratitude to other groomers in need. Thank you again for everything.
From Monica Torelli:
I am doing really well I just had a check up last week and the bone graft has taken which means no more surgeries!! Another 6 week and my arm should be completely healed (except for some nerve damage which will most likely be permanent) I am back to work and it's going well, just can't groom a lot of big dogs yet.
From Christine Trombino Dunkerley:
I was a groomer for thirteen years when I suddenly began having problems seeing. Tests by a neurologist revealed a brain disease called Pseudotumor Cerebri. After thirty spinal taps, monthly hospital stays, a permanent brain shunt, and brain surgery, I was unable to work and forced to sell my mobile grooming van. I spend most of my time in bed with this painful, debilitating disease. Even with good insurance, I still owe a great deal in medical bills. The $1,000 I received from GEAF went to pay some these mounting expenses. Thank you so much for thinking of me. Although there is no cure for my disease and I am not in remission, I am a fighter and will never stop fighting.
From Tracy Wright:
Just letting you all know how we are doing. We are still trying to recover and build. My husband and I are still living in the 5th wheel in the back yard, but our bedroom is coming along. Just a little worried about the spring thaw. There is talk of another flood this year. I hate to say it, but our home will not withstand anotherone. I have to admit I am worried to see what will happen. My clients and friends and fellow groomers have been my crutch. Without all of you, I would have never been able to do this. Thank you.
From Jennifer Westenskow:
I am trying to do ok. I am slowly recovering from surgery, and still grieving the recent loss of my mother in law, with whom I was very close. I can't tell you what it meant, when I was unable to work because of illness, to have groomers that cared about how I was doing and wanted to help me. Having people care, that helped financially or even simply prayed for me, it gave me faith in humanity. It touched me so much; it lifted me up and turned me around. And it made me want to help others. At Christmas I found a family to help and I paid the kindness forward. For whoever started this group, it is so wonderful. Groomers understand each other, and we never know when we will need help. I am so grateful.
From DeAnne D Orive:
July 10th at 7:55AM, I heard a bang and Woosh. The wall between the business next door and myself came down as a title wave of water came into the building. It was approximately 3 ½ to 4 feet of water throughout the entire salon. I lost everything except 2 cages and 2 tables and my blades and a few scissors. The building was condemned and deemed uninhabitable.
I opened my salon 2005 and I had an excellent clientele and had insurance, but it did not cover anything due to outside water and act of nature. I also had a rider to include ½ annual wages for a year, this was not covered either.
My original loan from 2005 was going to be paid off October 2013, but I had to renew my original loan again to purchase new items at Hershey. Including dryers, cage dryers, clippers, tub, shampoos and all other accessories for the salon. With the Help of GEAF, Frank Rowe & Sons sharpened all my blades for free except shipping. Frank Rowe & Sons and Groomers Mall gave me discounts on items purchased. Thank you for your help.