On Monday, August 5, at 6 pm, Mount Snow’s banquet services (where Lynch is employed) will be hosting a Lynch family benefit, combined with an ovarian cancer awareness night in the Deerfield Room at the Grand Summit Hotel. The benefit will include a silent auction at a Mount Snow-donated pasta, chicken, and Caesar salad dinner, followed by a live auction of larger items, and a raffle that will include an iPad donated by Bob Rubin and Jim Barnes. All proceeds will go to the Lynch family.
As a local craftsman, Jim Lynch, Collette’s husband, frequents WW Building Supply in Wilmington. After telling WW employee Eithne Eldred of the challenges his family was facing, Eldred sprang into action, and before she knew it, she was asking local businesses for donations, and planning a benefit.
“In passing, Jim said his family would figure out how to survive and feed themselves,” said Eldred. “But this valley is great, and people here rally to help each other all the time. I kind of fell into it, but all of a sudden I was putting this together.”
Two years ago, Collette saw a doctor to address what she thought was a hernia, and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Throughout a year of aggressive treatment, including chemotherapy, Lynch was left too weak to work. Combined with the cost of treatment, the Lynches were left with large medical and utility bills, and were finding it hard to make ends meet. Eldred, along with Maureen Drummey, another friend, knew that after such a short remission period, the Lynches must still be trying to catch up with the bills. The response from the local business community has been tremendous, according to Eldred.
“The response in general from businesses all over has been amazing, and I don’t want to single any out. These businesses just give all the time and it’s really incredible.”
In addition to the benefit, friends of the Lynches have already helped by dropping off meals, and giving Collette rides to hospitals. According to Drummey, the Lynches, including their 12-year-old son Andrei, are on board with the benefit, but Colette wanted to make sure the event would be used to raise awareness “She told me she doesn’t hate that it’s (the benefit) happening, she hates that it has to happen.”
According to the American Cancer Society there will be an estimated 22,240 new cases of ovarian cancer in the United States in 2013, and a woman’s risk of getting invasive ovarian cancer in her lifetime is about 1 in 72. Eldred says that there are multiple ways of helping the Lynches and joining the rest of the valley in rallying for a local family. Donations for the silent auction can be dropped off to Eldred at WW, and anyone can make money donations by adding money to a special account at People’s Bank called the Lynch Family Benefit account. People from out of town can send checks to Eldred at 17 N. Main Street, Wilmington, VT 05356 and made payable to Lynch Family Benefit.
“Colette is floored that everyone is so giving,” said Drummey. “This is a great community because this is a family in our community, and they need help. People have been so giving in this valley.”