When lifelong Wilmington resident George Bradley lost his home in a devastating fire on December 6, his friends and neighbors all around town were, in a word, shocked. All over town residents who had come to respect George for his kindness and generosity were devastated to learn of his loss and determined to find a way to help him out.
A member of the Wilmington High School class of 1974, Bradley is best known around town for having spent more than 20 years managing the Shell Station on Route 62 in North Wilmington. If you ever owned a hot rod, a custom van or simply needed your truck fixed, you likely turned to Bradley for help at one time or another.
In recent years Bradley has also become well known for his commitment to Wilmington’s senior citizens and can often be seen driving them to and from appointments and errands.
The true definition of a good neighbor, Bradley has been known to do everything from fixing cars to plowing driveways to help residents in his North Street neighborhood.
When Bradley’s home was destroyed last month it was a devastating blow to him and, at the same time, a huge disappointment to residents all over town.
Bradley’s goal is to rebuild his home and remain in his beloved North Street neighborhood but, sadly, it simply isn’t that easy. With no homeowner’s policy on the property, Bradley is looking at starting the process completely on his own.
“I didn’t have any insurance on the property,” explained Bradley. “Unfortunately times are rough and I just could not. I’m not the only one. The whole country is struggling.”
Almost immediately, North Street neighbor Jennifer Connell stepped up and started Help George Rebuild as a place where people could go to make donations to help George.
The site has raised over $5,000 to date and will remain open until January 28. That $5,000, however, is nowhere near what it will take for Bradley to begin rebuilding his home.
“As much as people help him, George is still going to be working hard to build his new home,” mentioned Connell. “The cost to rebuild will be enormous.”
Connell knew that a fundraiser would be key in helping to raise money for Bradley but, of course, hosting an event like that is a lot easier said than done.
Thanks to a generous donation by Marc Ginsburg of the Tewksbury Country Club, though, finding a venue for the fundraiser was the easy part.
“The owner of The Tewksbury Country Club Marc Ginsburg had read about George Bradley’s situation and immediately knew that he wanted to help in any way that he could,” said Kathleen Blight of Tewksbury Country Club.
This, of course, isn’t the first time the country club has stepped up to help someone in need and, chances are, it will not be the last.
“This is why Tewksbury Country Club is here,” Bligh said. “A lot of things happen in people’s lives and if the room is available we always do our best to help out. In a situation like this we want to do anything we can.”
A Comedy Night to Benefit George Bradley is scheduled for Friday, January 25, at Tewksbury Country Club with doors opening at 7:30 p.m.
The entertainment will feature “Two Old Guyz Comedy” featuring comedians Jerry Caruso and Larry Lee Lewis.
Caruso, who is also the co-founder of Comics for a Cure is a well-known stand-up comedian who has opened for acts such as Larry The Cable Guy, Lisa Lampinelli from the Celebrity Apprentice and Boston legend Lenny Clarke.
His accolades also include AOTV’s Jerry Caruso Comedy Hour, numerous radio shows including Rock 101 WGIR Manchester, N.H., and various clubs throughout the New England and New York area. In addition Caruso acts for Murder Mystery USA and offers Motivational Speeches titled Laughter is the Best Medicine.
Lewis is a piano player, singer, comedian, variety performer, radio personality, and senior entertainer known for mixing Henny Youngman, Milton Berle, Rodney Dangerfield style comedy with classic American signature songs by artists such as Little Richard, Fats Domino, Elvis and, of course, Jerry Lee Lewis.
Always backed by his rockabilly piano, Lewis has cohosted many radio programs including his own show on WWZN 1510. He is a popular act at Nick's Comedy Stop and the China Blossom and has opened for acts such as Bobby Rydell, Steve Connally and Lenny Clarke.
The evening will also include a DJ, light appetizers and snacks as well as a cash bar. In addition, Connell plans to have baskets, gift cards and other raffle prizes.
If you would like to make a donation to help with raffles please contact Connell by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets for A Night of Comedy to Benefit George Bradley are $20 and are available at the door or, in advance, by emailing Connell at email@example.com.