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In December, you may have seen news of a former Amesbury native, Nathaniel Bibaud, who was seriously injured in a head on collision on the island of St. Croix. After being med-flighted to Mass General Hospital in Boston, he was diagnosed with a broken vertebra and a dislocated spine, and underwent emergency spinal surgery. With enormous support and love from family and friends, Nathaniel has overcome many obstacles that were once said to be unattainable. His next step is at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital where he is continuing this challenging recovery with courage. Nathaniel turned 26 recently and went off his father’s health insurance. During December, the Nathaniel Bibaud Recovery Fund was established at the Provident Bank in Amesbury, where many donations have been pouring in to help with the escalating medical bills.
The first recovery fundraiser event was held at Murphy’s Riverside in downtown Amesbury on Thursday, January 20. A tribute to Murphy’s owners, Glenda Gotcsik, Richard Gehrlein, and in particular, to Rachel Jones, Sarah Goodridge, Sarah Burke, and Ali Ross, who organized the worked the event. Other staff members, Caitie Johnson, Kristin Ward, Bonnie Griffin and Jack Greene did not know Nathaniel, but volunteered their time and tips and wanted to help make a difference. The crowd at Murphy’s was shoulder-to-shoulder, packed for the cause. The biggest surprise was when Nathaniel arrived from Boston’s Spaulding Rehabilitation for a few hours. The cheers could be heard all the way down Main Street! The event was widely advertised thanks to Funny Bones, of Salisbury, who donated a custom made banner. Dawn Kingston of 439 Photography, volunteered to photograph the event, and Ben Sargent and Chris Clifford entertained the crowd with their live music.
Hundreds of raffle tickets were sold, as well as T-shirts, designed by Ali Ross, with Nathaniel’s picture and tag line of his local hockey team the Cheefs ‘Heal to the Cheef.’ Ali is collecting orders for the Ts to benefit his recovery fund. The silent auction table was busy, thanks to help from Ali, Michael Jones and Jake Goodridge, offering hundreds of donated services, products, and gift cards of restaurants, including autographed sports prints, jewelry, custom fishing rod, a GPS, food gift baskets, tickets to Bruins, Red Sox, and Celtics games to name a few. All mentions of donations, people and organizations to thank were posted by Nathaniel’s mother, Deidre McCarty on facebook. Everything was greatly appreciated!
Murphy’s Riverside donated a portion of food and beverage sales from the evening to Nathaniel’s fund, and 100% of the staff’s tips were donated as well. Together with the proceeds of the raffle, auction, the event brought in over $20,000 for Nathaniel’s recovery fund.
During the fundraiser, RE/MAX On the River made its’ first donation of $5,000 to aid Nathanial in his recovery. This RE/MAX On the River Charitable Fund was established in January of 2010 to make a difference for those individuals and charitable organizations locally. Each RE/MAX On the River agent pledged a certain percentage from each real estate sale to fund this charitable endeavor. Agents Craig Holt along with Ann Olmstead and Jay LeClerc presented the donation to the family.
A wonderful evening! A true way of giving from family and friends, who are proud of Nathaniel’s courage for the road ahead.
Photo credits, Dawn Kingston of 439 Photography. To see more photos of this meaningful event, see the facebook page ‘Nathaniel Bibaud Recovery Fundraiser’
Note – parts of this article were submitted by Karen Holt, who works with Nathanel’s mother, Deidre McCarty, at John Farley Clothiers in Newburyport.