Kelly Family Stunned by Support from Wilmington Community
A total of nearly $20,000 has already been raised between online efforts and a Wednesday fundraiser that brought in about $9,000.
It’s been a trying five months for the Kelly family. But thanks to members of the Wilmington community, Wednesday night was a different story.
“It’s given me great joy to just get to see some happiness for a while,” said Monica Kelly, whose husband, Bob, suffered a stroke just days before their son Brandon had part of his leg amputated following an accident. “It’s been five tough months of being in the hospitals, doctors’ appointments and things that consume your life. So to have a night like this is pretty amazing.”
On Wednesday, family and friends from all walks of life poured into Knights of Columbus hall during a fundraiser that raised a total of $9,235 for the family.
In addition, online fundraising efforts have pulled in $9,030 as of Thursday afternoon.
“To see the outcome, it’s really overwhelming,” said Monica. “I knew of the goodness in the community, but when something tragic like this happens you really realize how many wonderful people are in this town that are willing to help out and care for us so much.”
Brandon Kelly was also in attendance at the fundraiser, greeting friends and family that he’s met throughout the 18 years the family lived in Wilmington.
In October, the family moved to Hudson, N.H., where they were running their sheet metal business until Bob and Brandon’s accidents forced them to close up shop permanently.
According to family friends, the Kellys have remained upbeat despite their life-altering events. Brandon said watching his father suffer a stroke was a moment he will never forget, but added that he has learned a great deal in the months that followed.
“We’re both alive, and that’s all that matters,” said Brandon. “His event was really traumatic for me, him collapsing in my arms at work. Once I went through my own accident, it was a breeze compared to that. I’ve just learned that you can never take anything for granted, or it could be taken right out from under you.”
Fundraising efforts continue for the Kelly family. Anyone interested can visit the Kelly Family Fund website to donate.
In addition, Wilmington High School graduate Talia Khan will donate 30 percent of proceeds on Sunday from 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. at 7th Wave Restaurant in Rockport to the Kelly family.
Stephanie Kelly, one of three children, said she was stunned to see how many people came to support her family on Wednesday night. She also said she’s learned valuable lessons from her brother and father’s setbacks.
“If anything came out of this it’s just that you have to take life as it comes, and you can’t predetermine anything,” said Stephanie. “What I learned is that I can’t complain. There are so many other things that could have happened. I’m just happy they’re alive.”