August 29, 2014

Elyria
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Midview community grieves for the Tomasheskis with special events, donations

GRAFTON — The entire Midview community is grieving the loss of 36-year-old Tammy Tomasheski and her 11-year-old son, Tommy Tomasheski, who were killed in a crash Saturday that also severely injured her husband, 38-year-old Lorain County sheriff’s Cpl. Thomas Tomasheski and their 13-year-old daughter, Danielle Tomasheski.

Tom

Tom

Tammy

Tammy

But true to form, people in Grafton aren’t sitting on their hands.

Instead, they have gotten to work helping the Tomasheski family, which has done so much for others over the years, said Mary Reitzinger, who is among the volunteers who are collecting donations to help offset funeral and hospital expenses.

“We’re hoping we can do what we can do in the moment,” Reitzinger said.

Thomas Tomasheski remained in critical condition Tuesday at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, where the driver of the other car, Gerald Wetherbee, 35, of Oberlin, was listed in fair condition.

Danielle was listed in critical condition at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.

Tommy

Tommy

Danielle

Danielle

A memorial fund has been set up at First Place Bank, and volunteers are collecting donations at supermarkets.

Donations may be sent to the bank’s Grafton branch, 351 N. Main St., Grafton, OH 44044, or can be made at branches in Lorain County and North Olmsted.

Reitzinger said volunteers will be collecting donations 4 to 6 p.m. today and Thursday at the Walmart at Chestnut Commons in Elyria.

They also will collect donations 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and June 25 at the Sparkle Market in Grafton.

People also can drop off cash donations as well as frozen dinners and household items to the concession stand at Midview North Baseball Field, 11600 Durkee Road, during baseball games, Reitzinger said.

The items will be given to family and friends spending long hours at MetroHealth and Rainbow Babies in hopes of sparing them some shopping, she said.

“I know the family from softball. When I was a kid, Tom played baseball with my brother,” Reitzinger said. “I’m just getting the word out — there’s a lot of people involved from Midview North Hot Stove, Grafton Hot Stove, Midview Youth Football and Chestnut Ridge Baptist Church.”

One of those involved is David Gilchrist, president of the Midview Touchdown Club.

Gilchrist said he coached Tommy Tomasheski three years, “and you couldn’t find a better kid.”

“He was an outstanding young man and always gave his best effort on the field and was a great teammate,” Gilchrist said.

He said the community is really dedicated to help the family who were “involved in everything.”

“Big Tom coached my son in youth football, and he loves coach Tom,” Gilchrist said. “He could be demanding, but he also came down to their level.”

Reitzinger said she and other supporters of the family are grateful for the church’s Facebook page, which is helping update concerned friends on medical developments.

At the church, several events also are being dedicated to the Tomasheski family, including a Community Block Party 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday and a School’s Out Youth Rally 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. June 22. The church is at 38550 Chestnut Ridge Road, Elyria.

The Rev. J. Darrell Myers said volunteers from the church and other areas of the United States also will take part in a housing rehabilitation effort July 16 to 23 in memory of Tammy and Tommy Tomasheski.

Tammy and Thomas Tomasheski led a contingent of local youths to rehabilitate houses for the poor and elderly last year in Jackson, Mich., he said.

The local project was already in the works, but the Tomasheskis’ accident will give volunteers plenty of drive to complete a project the family believed in deeply, Myers said.

“We’ll have 14 squads working on 20 projects — six in the city of Elyria,” Myers said.

To help

  • Donations are being accepted at First Place Bank locations in Lorain County and North Olmsted.
  • Volunteers will collect donations 4 to 6 p.m. today and Thursday at the Walmart at Chestnut Commons; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Grafton Sparkle Market; at the concession stand at Midview North Baseball Field, 11600 Durkee Road.
  • Community Block Party, 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday and a Youth Rally, 6:30 to
    9:30 p.m. June 22 at Chestnut Ridge Baptist Church, 38550 Chestnut Ridge Road, Elyria.

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.