Linkedin NewsCommunityUrgent appeal for family hit by motor neurone diseaseBy Bernie English – February 24, 2020 2738 Previous articleCrack cocaine supermarkets causing chaosNext articleWeekend Siamsa le jazz piano quartet Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ieBernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news. Twitter Facebook WhatsApp Jer and Jackie with their children Noah and FayeA YOUNG Limerick family who has been struck by the tragedy of motor neurone disease are set to benefit from an online appeal to restore a 300-year-old house.Jer Spillane (39) was diagnosed with the incurable disease last November and already he has lost the use of his hands and arms.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Married to Jackie, they have two children, Noah (7) and Faye (4) and with carpenter Jer now out of work and Jackie facing the prospect of giving up her SNA job in a school to be his carer, the family is facing financial ruin.Jackie is originally from Kilbehenny in County Limerick and the couple are trying to restore an old family farmhouse there in preparation for Jer’s inevitable deteriorationClose family friend, Jennifer O’Sullivan told the Limerick Post why she and others have started a ‘Go Fund Me’ campaign.“The family has been renting a house for the last ten years but there is no downstairs bathroom and the doors are not wide enough for a wheelchair, which Jer is going to need sooner or later.“There is no question but he will be in a chair but we’re hoping that it will not be before they can do up the Kilbehenny house to cater for his needs.“There’s no heating system in the house. It’s 300 years old and it’s not suitable for a wheelchair but it is a place they can call home.“The cost of doing it up to a standard that is suitable for someone in a wheelchair has been estimated at €150,000. They don’t have money and they can’t get any kind of loan or mortgage because Jer now has no income and Jackie will have to give up her job in time,” Jennifer explained.Nor can the family avail of any of the disability grants for renovations as they would have to have owned the house for a year.The family has already endured huge bereavements, losing three of their parents and Jer’s only sister who died in a drowning tragedy.“They are such a lovely close family who have suffered so much already. This is heartbreaking. They’re devoted to each other and their children,” said Jennifer.“This disease shouldn’t happen to anyone and certainly not to such lovely people”.In the first three days of the campaign, almost €18,000 was raised from generous donors.“We’ve been blown away by the response and we’re so moved by people’s generosity. But every euro counts and we have a long way to go. This is a heartfelt plea to give them a home where Jer can make the best of his life with his family.”See https://www.gofundme.com/f/jer-spillane-fund Email Print Advertisement
By John Burton HIGHLANDS – It is still very quiet and vacant along Bay Avenue but life is returning there.Eleven weeks after Super Storm Sandy hit, many buildings and businesses are still closed and shuttered. But, behind the emptiness and eerie stillness, there is activity as owners take on the work of repairing their businesses – with some already up and running.“I think we’re progressing in a very positive manner,” said Carla Cefalo-Braswell, president of the Highlands Business Partnership, the local business improvement district. So far there are about 20 businesses that are open or just about to, out of the partnership’s 70 members, which include a number of seasonal businesses.“There are very few who are not going to return,” she said.With charitable organizations, such as the Robin Hood Foundation, offering financial support for businesses and residents, there is a future, Cefalo-Braswell said.One of the businesses that has reopened along the borough’s Bay Avenue business district is the Welsh Farms. Its owner said his location has become more than just a convenience store in the storm’s aftermath.“People were so thankful to us,” owner Ben Saini said, explaining that residents were happy to have the store open and operating. “It made me feel so proud and a little better” after Sandy.Saini, who is originally from India, has owned Welsh Farm, 300 Bay Ave., for 16 years, and Katz’s Grill, 208 Bay Ave., a small luncheonette that is also open, for the past five years.Sandy hit his businesses hard, Saini said, with the bay’s waters causing more than about 3 feet of water to flood his two locations, resulting in about $125,000 in damage to Katz’s and another $75,000 Welsh’s Farms.Saini decided to forgo help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the federal Small Business Association, deciding that the red tape would be onerous. Instead, he said, he went directly to his banker and was able to quickly secure a loan to rebuild.Skip Ross (left), who owns the Sand Witch Shop, and a worker put the finishing touches on his Highlands shop as he prepares to reopen after the October storm that caused about 3 feet of flooding and considerable damage to his business.For Skip Ross, who, with his wife Donna owns and operates the Sand Witch Shop, 71 Waterwitch Ave., the issue has been dealing with the insurance company as he works to get his operation up and running.“I’m on eternal hold,” he said, as he held a cordless phone receiver to his ear, waiting for another insurance representative to answer.“The water was this high,” he said, reaching out to touch the restaurant’s wall, about 3 feet off of the floor. “I lost every piece of equipment I had.”The Rosses live around the corner from their business, just off of Bay, and saw the first floor of their home flood too. “We ran from Irene,” the hurricane that came in August 2010. “We thought we would be all right,” by staying and riding out Sandy, he said, acknowledging how wrong the decision was.“It’s defeating,” he said. “It brings you to the realization that we’re only human and Mother Nature rules.”Ross has spent about $20,000 for new equipment, though he tried to salvage as much as he could. “I know I lost as much in product,” he said, as he worked on getting everything in shape for his reopening. He reopened the shop the weekend of Jan. 5.Rosann Ketchow gets the offices at her Highlands business, Gateway Marina, back in shape and prepares to move forward in the aftermath of Sandy.Rosann Ketchow, who owns and operates Gateway Marina with her husband, has been in business at 34 Bay Ave. since 1994 and has a second location in Port Monmouth.Gateway is operating, continuing its work on winterizing and storing boats and repairing those that were damaged along the shore, she said.The Ketchows were in Florida when Sandy hit, but had taken some precautions before leaving. They placed computers and other equipment on high shelves and took other steps. But it wasn’t enough, Rosann Ketchow said. They got 5 feet of water in their office.“I couldn’t believe there was this much damage,” she said. “How could water do this much damage? “We never thought it would get to be 5 feet. Nobody did.”They returned from Florida with a generator that allowed them to warm the office as they began getting back in business, repairing and replacing what Ketchow estimated to be about $750,000 in damage to their “completely saturated” business.Outside, there was additional damage to some boats in storage and the storage area, with the water and wind destroying a portable tent-like enclosure where mechanics did some of their work.Some of the biggest hassles have been getting the phone and computer systems operating to allow the Ketchows to contact boat owners and vendors for much needed equipment and parts.Despite the problems, some business owners remain hopeful.As businesses – such as the restaurants and bars – return and again become summer destination spots, Welsh Farms owner Saini is hoping “at the end of the tunnel there’s a light.”
Geoff Kinrade knew he was taking a chance by signing a professional contract in the Czech Republic in the summer of 2011.However, the Nelson Minor Hockey grad probably didn’t realize he’d be seeing a lot more of Europe than originally planned.Kinrade, finished up his inaugural season playing professional hockey in Europe with SC Bern of the Swiss League after starting the campaign in the Czech Republic for HC Plzen 1929.“Though I loved living in Plzen and enjoyed my teammates, things were not working out with the coach and the transfer to the Swiss league was a great opportunity,” the 26-year-old Kinrade told The Nelson Daily from Penticton, his off-season home.“(But) it was a good move for me as the NLA (National League A) is probably the best European League to play in for an import player.”Kinrade made the decision to try hockey in Europe after he failed gain the attention of the Ottawa Senators management following the 2010-11 season.Despite playing a key role in the success of Ottawa’s farm team in Binghamton — Kinrade played in all 23 playoff games as the Senators won the AHL’s Calder Cup and was plus-2 with a goal and four assists — the smooth skating defenceman realized the chance of getting a shot at the parent National Hockey League club was remote at best.So when his agent found a team in Europe, Kinrade inked a one-year deal, believing he could parlay a positive season across the big pond into an NHL opportunity with another team.“I really enjoyed living in Europe,” explained Kinrade, following in the footsteps of other Nelsonites — Simon Wheeldon and Bruno Campese — who have gained notoriety playing in Europe.“It was a very cool experience since it was my first time leaving (North America).”Kinrade played 34 games for HC Plzen 1929 before getting a transfer to SC Bern in January.The former Nelson Leaf played seven regular season games with SC Bern before dressing for 17 playoff contests.However, this playoff ride did not conclude with the same playoff magic as Kinrade experienced in Binghamton.SC Bern finished the season losing out in the seven-game final against ZSC Lions.SC Bern watched as a 3-1 lead evaporated before their eyes.Then in the final game, at home not less, Trail native Steven McCarthy scored the winner with time running out.How ironic that a Nelson Minor Hockey grad goes across the ocean to lose out in a hockey final to a Trail Minor Hockey grad in a 2-1 game-seven victory for ZSC Lions. “There were similarities and differences, but playoff hockey is always going to be intense, so it felt the same,” Kinrade said about the post-season ride for SC Bern.Former Trail Smokie Travis Roche was a teammate of Kinrades while Jeff Tambellini, also with roots in the Silver City, was on the roster of ZSC Lions.It’s been a wild ride, not only this season, but throughout the Geoff Kinrade hockey career.The first season overseas only added to the rollercoaster ride.“Living in Czech Republic was the most difficult since most people did not speak English,” Kinrade said.“Western Europe is much more English friendly as almost everyone can speak at least a little English.”“(But) I got to see a lot of Europe,” he added. “We played games throughout Finland in the beginning of the season and I also traveled throughout Germany, Czech Republic, Austria and Switzerland on my own and also with hockey.”And what’s in the cards for next season?“I have already signed in Bern for next year,” heading back to Switzerland in August.Looks like the NHL is going to wait at least for another season.
Saturday in Nelson, Aidan Geiger snapped an eight-game goal-scoring slump in a big way Saturday night against the Columbia Valley Rockies.The Calgary native scored three times, including the winner, to spark the Nelson Leafs to a 4-3 victory over the Eddie Mountain squad at the NDCC Arena.Geiger scored for the first time since arriving in the Heritage City in early October.Nelson improves to 12-3-2-1 on the season and maintains a four-point lead in Murdoch Division standings over Beaver Valley.The Nitehawks pasted Castlegar 7-2 Saturday in Fruitvale.Geiger opened the scoring in the first period, jumping on a pass to snap a quick shot past Brody Nelson in the Columbia Valley nets.After Leaf captain Aaron Dunlap scored with 10 seconds remaining in the first period to give Nelson a 2-0 lead.Geiger increased the margin to 3-0 with a goal in the second period before Rockies scored three straight to tie the game early in the third.Geiger then scored the winner midway through the final frame to complete the hat trick and give Nelson just enough offense to win for the fifth straight time.Sam Young, Carter Melnyk and Dario Piva replied for Columbia Valley.Adam Maida stopped 10 of 13 shots to register the win, his second in as many games. Nelson out shot Columbia Valley 23-13.Nelson completes its week Sunday with a road date in the Lilac City against Spokane.LEAF NOTES: Nelson’s leading scorer Matt MacDonald saw his point streak end at eight games. MacDonald is now tied with Robson Cramer for top spot in Leaf scoring after the mobile defenceman recorded two points in Sunday’s loss. Cramer was Nelson’s player of the game . . . Nelson was without head coach Dave McLellan, who was in the South Okanagan watching his son play in a Bantam Hockey Tournament. McLellan is expected back with the team for practice this week. Assistants Sean Dooley, Stathis Dimopoulos and Iain Parent coached the team. . . .Spokane has now won four in a row. . . .Sunday, Columbia Valley lost its fourth straight, and third on this road trip, after dropping a 7-3 decision Sunday in Castlegar. Spokane Braves snapped the five-game winning streak of the Nelson Leafs, edging the Murdoch Division leaders 4-3 Sunday in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action in the Lilac City.Tanner Stolz and Sean Collins scored less than a minute apart in the third period to snap a 2-2 tie to spark the Braves to the win.Nelson had just tied the game up in the third period when team captain Aaron Dunlap scored.Nelson led 1-0 after one period on a goal by Rayce Miller before the Braves took a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes on goals by Collins and Stolz.Nolan Percival scored the other goal for Nelson.Adam Maida was in goal to register the loss for Nelson, which out shot the Braves 38-33.The victory allowed Spokane to climb to within two points of Murdoch Division leading Nelson, dropping to 12-4-2-1.Beaver Valley and Castlegar are tied for third, each with 23 points.The Leafs continue a road swing with games next weekend in Creston Friday and back in Spokane Saturday against the Braves.Leafs Geiger scores hat-trick to spark Murdoch leaders past Rockies