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Gwen Elliott Relief Fundraiser

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Guest Karen Wilson-Dooley

Tawnya suggested that I post this here:


On the night of June 15, 2007, Gwen Elliott’s evening started out no different from any other. She and her 10-year old son Trevor had dinner and enjoyed some quality mom-and-son time together, just as they did every evening. Later, Gwen accompanied Trevor upstairs to prepare for bed. After getting into his pajamas, Trevor headed downstairs to the kitchen for a glass of water while Gwen waited upstairs to tuck him in. Instead of returning to his mom, Gwen was startled by fearful screams coming from her son. She hurried down the stairs to find a small fire had started by the sofa in her living room.


As Gwen quickly tried to smother the flames, Trevor hovered by the back door waiting for his mother to put out the fire. When the fire got out of hand to the point that Gwen could no longer fight it on her own, she grabbed Trevor and headed toward the door to exit the house. Trevor managed to break free from Gwen and escaped to what he thought was a safe haven from the fire.


Gwen screamed for her neighbors to help her retrieve Trevor from the burning house. By that time, the house was filled with smoke and no one could get through to the stairway. Neighbors brought ladders and made every effort to get to Trevor, although they were not sure where he had escaped to. The fire department and rescue workers were soon on the scene. They brought in fans to clear out the smoke so they could make their way upstairs.


Trevor, an autistic boy, sought refuge from the fire in his bedroom. It was a safe haven for him, and he likely thought he could escape the fire there and everything would be okay. He was found by a firefighter resting peacefully on his bed among his stuffed animals. As the firefighter made his way downstairs with Trevor, he slipped and fell down the staircase suffering a fracture. Amid the rescue efforts of neighbors and firefighters, Trevor died of smoke inhalation before they retrieved him to safety. He suffered only very minor burns to his body that were likely incurred during the rescue efforts when the firefighter fell down the stairs with Trevor in his arms.


What started out as a normal evening at the Elliott home ended in a nightmare that would change Gwen’s life forever. Gwen has no family in the immediate area and has been dependent on a few friends, members of the community, the Red Cross, and other charitable organizations for food, shelter, and clothing for the past few weeks. To make matters worse, because of extenuating circumstances, there is no insurance to cover the total loss suffered to the dwelling and its contents.


Gwen has been a member of several Internet business networking groups for women for many years. We are her family, friends, and support system. She is known by her peers as a mild-mannered, cheerful young woman whose life revolved around her autistic son, Trevor. Gwen devoted much of her time filling Trevor’s life with quality activities, fun, and love. In an effort to spend as much time as she could with Trevor and be there to meet his needs, Gwen worked part-time jobs that she could schedule around Trevor’s world. She is also the owner of AssistBiz, a virtual business providing bookkeeping and administrative services to a variety of clients. Inspired by Trevor’s love for crafting and working with his hands, Gwen launched SquealsDelight.com through which she offers personalized gifts, craft kits, party supplies, activity packs, and related products.


Gwen was able to secure a townhouse in Virginia Beach where she is trying to set up housekeeping and move on with her life. She is starting over with nothing. The members of BoldBizBabes, an online networking group for women in business, is hosting a fundraising effort to help meet Gwen’s needs. We are seeking other online networking groups for women in which Gwen has been affiliated with over the years to partner with us in this effort.


We need your help. We are asking members of other business networking groups donate at least one product or service that we can feature and sell on the Gwen Elliott Relief Fundraiser Web site OR make a cash donation OR donate items from the list of things Gwen needs. The Web site URL is http://www.help-gwen-elliott.com. All of the proceeds from the product donations, as well as monetary donations will be given directly to Gwen to help her obtain things she needs for herself and her apartment. Remember, she is starting from scratch and has nothing. She left her home with the clothes on her back and her truck. That was all that remained of her life following that tragic night in June. If each member of your networking group can make one contribution in some way, we will be able to help Gwen acquire the household goods, furniture, clothing, and services she needs to make a fresh start.


We would like to thank you in advance for your purchase / contribution to the Gwen Elliott Relief Fundraiser. May God richly bless you for your generosity!


If you have any questions regarding our request, please contact me directly via e-mail at kwdooley@comcast.net or by phone at 1.434.836.6286.


You can view the newspaper story that was published in the Virginian-Pilot online at:





Karen Wilson-Dooley

Founder, BoldBizBabes Networking Group

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Of course we will help!


I have a nephew who has Aspergers, a form of autism. He is high-functioning and extremely intelligent but I can so picture him doing that at the same age. He is now 17 and I thank God every day for that sweet boy. My sister has done an amazing job with him and no one would ever suspect that he has had any problems at all.


I will make my donation in memory of Trevor but also send my love and prayers to anyone who has ever lost a child.


Here's my hope that Gwen will find some peace in her life.



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I almost lost my 14 year old daughter to sudden cardiac arrest in October 2006 while she was playing volleyball. I can't imagine the pain this poor woman is going through. Life is so short and precious. Thanks for posting. I will be sending a donation.

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Guest Karen Wilson-Dooley

Thank you all for your generous donations and for taking the time to respond. I am passing along your condolences to Gwen. She is so appreciative of everything that everyone is doing. The thoughtful words and prayers of others go a long ways in helping her recover!



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