PHCC of Massachusetts Provides "Christmas Miracle" for Weymouth Family
In early 2010, Laurie Burgess, a 41-year-old single mother from Weymouth, passed away after battling breast cancer. She left behind three daughters – Christine, in her early 20’s, Erin, 13; and Zoie, 9. Since their mother passed, Christine has taken on the role of caregiver for her two younger sisters.
PHCC of Massachusetts Associate Member Paul Young, of TGA Cross Insurance, Inc. in Wakefield, participated in the Susan G. Komen Three-Day (Boston) “Walk for Breast Cancer”. On the night before the walk, all hotel rooms were sold out, so Paul was asked to share a room with Jim Hillman from California. On the second day of the walk, while climbing Belmont Hill, they noticed a little girl standing on the sidewalk holding a sign encouraging people to “keep walking for a cure”.
Paul and Jim were struck by her presence. Jim took a photo of her and put the picture of “the girl from Belmont Hill” on his back for motivation while participating at a fund raising walk in California. Kristina Libby, a walker from Massachusetts, saw the photo and told him that she knew the girl and her name was Zoie. Jim gave Kristina Paul’s contact information and she called him when she returned to Massachusetts.
Paul decided to visit the family and noticed that they were heating the house with electric space heaters. Their furnace had not been working for some time. The next day, TGA Cross VP Chris Hawthorne sent an email to Tom Theroux, Executive Director of the Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors of Massachusetts (PHCC of MA), asking for help. Tom notified local members and Andy Lyne, President of the association’s South East Mass Chapter, responded immediately. He quickly determined that the system was beyond repair. As he surveyed the Burgess family basement, Andy realized that he was “heavenly” committed to helping Zoie and her sisters. On Friday, Dec. 23, he produced what the girls call their "Christmas Miracle".
A team quickly assembled to aid the family. Andy collaborated with two South East Massachusetts Chapter members: Owen Geogheghan of Sentry Services, and Brian MacDonald of Brian MacDonald Plumbing, Heating and AC. Gerald Graham, Electrical Inspector for the Town of Braintree, also offered his services. The team installed a new high efficiency furnace donated by Matt Hough, Brockton Manager of FW Webb, with materials contributed by David Cannistraro of JC Cannistraro, LLC. Chris Meade of Meade Transport Company removed old units from the basement. In addition, each of the girls received a Christmas present donated by the Friends of Braintree Holiday Event at Marge Crispin Center.
Executive Director of PHCC of Greater Boston Hugh Keller and TGA Cross have setup a fund to help the family through these tough times. Donations can be made at Eastern Bank locations as well as online. To make a donation in person, go to any Eastern Bank in Massachusetts and ask to make a donation to Laurie Burgess Loris Memorial Love Fund. To donate online (funds are directly linked to the Eastern Bank Account), go to https://www.wepay.com/donations/Loris_Memorial_Love_Fund.