$6,400 raised during crowded event for Brian Waldo

 

 

More than 300 well-wishers attended Saturday night’s fund-raiser for Chester resident Brian Waldo, who has been hospitalized for several months with health issues related to spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spine that he developed over the last several years.

Pat Budnick, of Motel in the Meadow, left, and Squatty Cram, of Stone Village Farmer's Market at the fund-raiser. Event photos by Sharon Baker.

Pat Budnick, of Motel in the Meadow, left, and Squatty Cram, of Stone Village Farmer’s Market at the fund-raiser. Photo by Sharon Baker.

According to Pat Budnick, as of Monday morning, $6,400 had been raised with more money coming in.  The funds were raised through donations, raffles and a silent auction of a large number of donated goods. The event, held at the American Legion in Chester, also included plenty of food and music performed by five bands that rocked the night away. Playing were GB101, DV-8, Backroad, Green Mountain Express and Fehkle.

At one point during the evening, Cathy McWilliam, Waldo’s sister, carried a laptop computer with an embedded camera through the crowds so that Waldo could view all those in attendance and express his gratitude to everyone for the outpouring of support. “We video-chatted with him that night,” McWilliam said of the technology. “He’s up in his hospital bed and we’re sitting there talking to him. It was a way he could see the outpouring of support.”

Waldo, 59, is recuperating at Alice Peck Day hospital in Lebanon, N.H.

Brian Waldo was able to express his appreciation via computer. Photo by Cathy McWilliam.

Brian Waldo was able to express his appreciation via computer. Photo by Cathy McWilliam.

Budnick said many in attendance were from Waldo’s class at Green Mountain Union High.  But, she added, “I don’t think there is anyone in town who doesn’t have to be thanked” for helping out with the event, donating goods, services and funds.

McWilliam said she also heard that the winner of the 50/50 raffle donated his entire winnings to her brother’s fund.

Waldo, an international customer service representative at NewsBank, continues to work part-time from his hospital bed, his sister said.  McWilliam spoke briefly about her brother’s own dedication to helping others. “Brian’s done community service and has been helping people for decades. He’s been an Elk for 35 years. He’s been involved in a lot of community events. He’s floored that [his community service] has come back to him as much as it has.”

McWilliam added that her brother “is astounded and very humbled by the outpouring of support from the Chester community. Chester is one of those towns that rallies around when someone is in need.”

To join that rally and donate to help Brian Waldo with his medical bills, you can make out a check to:
Brian Waldo Benefit Fund
c/o TD Bank
48 Main St.
Chester, VT 05143

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About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor for 30 years, having worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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