News photo by David Barr
Left to right, Heather, Eric and Savannah Toth at the Friendly's fundraiser hosted by the Daniel Boone High School softball team.
Members of the Douglassville community are coming together to help some of their neighbors in a time of need. Several local businesses and community members are reaching out to show their support for the Toth family.
It all started the day after Christmas, when Jennifer Toth, who was driving her SUV on westbound Perkiomen Avenue in Exeter Township, hit a patch of black ice, veered off the road and struck Stopper’s Restaurant. Toth and two of her daughters, who were with her, were injured in the accident.
“All of us sustained pretty significant injuries,” Toth said.
Toth sustained a concussion, tissue damage to her neck and left shoulder, nine broken ribs, five fractures in her right foot and a right lung contusion. Her oldest daughter, Abigail, 19, suffered a dislocated right wrist that had to be pinned and plated and three broken bones in her right foot.
Her youngest daughter, McKenzie, nine, suffered the worst of the three. She had a severe concussion, cervical tears in her neck, a fracture in her back, crushed hip bones, and intestinal injuries that resulted in internal bleeding. All three were taken to Reading Hospital. McKenzie was later taken to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and is still there.
Jennifer Toth was released from the hospital herself on Dec. 30, and it wasn’t until about two weeks after that Toth “really started to get a grip” on how much support she and her family were getting from the community. Many people helped to spread the word that the family was in trouble, including the Amity AC Lacrosse team and the Amity AC Hoops. And as word spread, fundraisers to help the Toth’s defray some of the medical bills began to be scheduled.
Toth said that everyone was so incredible and fantastic when it came to offering their support or help to the family. All of this is occurring at a time when Toth’s husband, Eric, is unemployed.
“I don’t know where to begin thanking people. I am blown away by the community’s support. Just blown away,” Jennifer said.
“The community, friends, family, have just been a Godsend,” Eric added.
The Daniel Boone High Schoolsoftball team held a fundraiser at the Pottstown Friendly’s last Wednesday, with 10 percent of all bills going toward helping the Toth family. According to Boone softball head coach Traci Huddelson, the fundraiser was initially supposed to be for the softball team.
“The girls wanted to reach out. Once the girls and I talked about what we could do to reach out to our sisters, this is what we decided. Whatever we can do to help one of our own,” Huddelson said.
“They gave up their event for us,” Toth said. “I have a life of paying back to do.”
Stephanie Conlon heard about the incident from Monsignor McCann of Immaculate Conception Church. Conlon contacted Michael’s Diner in Douglassville about supporting a community family and they asked how they could help the family. They began telling all their customers and Conlon put an ad on her community website to help get the word out.
“I am actively involved in the community so people reached out to me to help spread the word,” Conlon said.
This week, on Monday and Tuesday, customers of Michael’s Diner, who presented a special coupon upon paying, could have 10 percent of their bill donated to the Toth family.
“It’s a great, great thing that everyone is doing,” Jeffry Houir, of Michael’s Diner said.
The Toth family includes Eric, Jennifer, Abigail, 19, Heather, 17, Savannah, 15, Eric, 12, and McKenzie, 9.
There are several additional fundraisers scheduled so far. On Feb. 7, Texas Roadhouse in Wyomissing will donate 10 percent of the food purchased by customers who present the coupon. Another fundraiser is coming up March 16 – a Beef and Beer Fundraiser at the Birdsboro Community Center, from 6 to 11 p.m. The cost is $30 per ticket.
For more information about all the scheduled fundraisers, visit: www.TothFamilyBenefit.weebly.com.