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Benefit will help resident with recovery

Barry O'Neil Reminder file photo
By Natasha Clark

Reminder Assistant Editor

WILBRAHAM On October 14, Real Oldies 1250 AM, a local radio station, will host a fund-raiser in honor of Wilbraham resident Barry O'Neil.

O'Neil is recovering from second and third degree burns he suffered from an accident in April.

Six months ago, Reminder Publications spoke with O'Neil's longtime friend Cheryl Berthiaume when she set up a trust at Citizen's Bank in his honor. Last week when she spoke with Reminder Publications, she wanted the public to know how much O'Neil appreciated everything the community has done.

"Let them know how grateful he is for all of their help," Berthiaume said.

O'Neil still has a long road to recovery in front of him and Berthiaume is hoping this fund-raiser will help O'Neil and his family.

"He needs another surgery," she shared. "When he got back to his house [from rehabilitation], and started a few days of work, he realized his hand is not right. [The doctors] have to go back in and cut the skin because it's too tight, and they'll have to do another skin graft."

She added that O'Neil has to wear compression bandages on his arms and chest for a year.

The funds that were raised for O'Neil through his trust have helped him keep his insurance going.

O'Neil and his family also received help through a Minnechaug Regional High School Hat Day fund-raising event, a bake sale and raffle hosted by St. Cecelia's Church even a motorcycle run was completed in his honor a few months ago, Berthiaume added.

Berthiaume acknowledged the dedication of O'Neil's family. His sister Terry, her husband Lou, and John Fortunato are responsible for putting this event together, in which 100 percent of the proceeds will go to O'Neil.

The October 14 event will feature Union Jack British Invasion Band, Off the Record (Eclectic Rock) and Strange Brew (Classic Rock). Hosted between 7:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. at The Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, located at 1 Atwood Drive in Northampton, tickets are $12.50 in advance and $15 at the door.

For more information and tickets contact Terry and Lou at 596-3987 or John Fortunato at 537-7904. Calls may even be placed to The Clarion Hotel at 413-586-1211.

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