Westborough volunteers come together to help Gingras family
By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
Westborough – A Westborough family has gotten an early holiday gift thanks to volunteers from two local churches and a local foundation – a ramp that will allow them easier access in and out of their Steven Road home.
In June 2011 Jim Gingras Jr. was in a devastating motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down.? Over the course of two weekends in November, volunteers from the Congregational Church of Westborough and St. Luke's Parish met at the Gingras home to construct a handicap-accessible ramp.
The project was first researched and designed by Ken Gagnon and Bob Simcoe. After consulting with Westborough Assistant Building Inspector Donald Moquin, Simcoe then oversaw the construction of the ramp.
Art Sharkey, who is a member of the Congregational Church of Westborough, was instrumental, Simcoe said, in organizing the manpower needed for the project.? The materials for the project were funded by the Forbes Kirkside Foundation, Inc.
“I like to build things and help people,” Simcoe, a retired electrical engineer, said of his involvement.
“This was an interesting challenge – we had to dig footings four feet deep. But we had a good time and the weather cooperated. It's clear that the good Lord provided the right conditions for us over the two weekends!”
Jim's mother, Joann, who uses a walker, will also benefit from the ramp.
Jim noted that he and his family were “very grateful” for the efforts of all who helped on this project.
“We are so moved by the donation of the ramp. From the great volunteers from the two churches, to the folks from the Forbes Kirkside Foundation, everyone has been so supportive,” he said. “Now when I go out for an appointment, I can wheel right out to the van. It was so much tougher to navigate the stairs before.”
Those who participated in the project included: Brett Borglund, Steve Fox, Kenny Gagnon, Pat Gagnon, Karen Gavel, Ted Jaworski, Mike Lawler, Doug Oevermann, Greg Oevermann, Bob Petersen, Ethan Peterson, Dani Sharkey, Bob Simcoe, Mary Taber, John Truesdell, Doug Wales, Ed Wong and Art Sharkey.
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