We hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable holiday season! We were able to spend some quality time with family over the holidays, which was great. Kevin made it home from the hospital on Christmas Eve and enjoyed seeing people over the holidays. He’s been out and about several times recently and has stayed healthy. With the addition moving along, we’re hopeful that 2013 will be a healthy and productive year!
We have a few updates we wanted to share. Last week, Kevin had a small procedure done at Jersey Shore Medical to put in a new transmitter for his breathing device. It seems to be working well.
The addition is also coming along very well. The electrical and plumbing have been put in, as well as the doors and windows. The siding will be going up soon. We’ll get a few photos and post them soon!
We also wanted to let you know about an event being held by Lakshmi Hair Studio on January 20th. Come get your hair cut and support Kevin! Details are here:
Special thanks to Kevin’s dear friend Joe McIlhenny for putting this together!
What a difference a year makes. When we came to the hospital that fateful morning a year ago, we couldn’t have imagined what lay ahead of us. But we realized quickly that we would have the support we needed along the way, and our expectations were far exceeded by the consistent warmth and support we’ve received. We cannot stress enough how grateful we are for your support over the past year. It has been essential.
Kevin has made some amazing progress in what seems like the blink of an eye, and so has our family. Kevin fought his way back to health, completed a demanding rehabilitation at Magee, and worked hard at learning how to keep himself healthy and adjust to his new life. And he’s done it all with his signature charm and positive attitude. We couldn’t be prouder.
The next phase is completing construction on Kevin’s addition. The addition will give Kevin more personal space and enable him to live more independently. We have a great team of folks who have donated their time and service to help complete the project, especially Rick and Adam DiSabatino from EDiS Construction in Wilmington. (There are a number of contractors and vendors supplying time, labor, and/or materials who we would like to thank, and we will thanking folks as the project moves along!)
The addition is going to be by far the largest expense to date, so we are incredibly grateful for all of your fundraising support for the Kevin Neary Trust. But even more than that, we are grateful for your constant love and support.
While it has been a fairly quiet two weeks since our last update, there has been a great deal of activity going on behind the scenes.
Kevin seems to be doing pretty well. He has had the chance to get out of the house a few times of the past few weeks. Thanks to Aunts Peggy and Marianne, Kevin and a few nurses made a little trip to Delaware Park to visit the casino and have a little fun. The Neary-Kelly clan made a visit and helped get Kevin back into the city for dinner at St. Stephen’s Green. While we had hoped to make it down to the Piazza, we had a little van trouble and had to call it an early night. Thanks to everyone who tried to make it out that night. We hope to do it again soon.
Yesterday Kevin had a small procedure to implant a new type of catheter. The doctors hope this will reduce the risk of infection and facilitate easier changes. We are happy to report all went very well and he was home the same day.
We are moving pretty quickly on getting things started with the house. This Friday the architects will be back out to the house to review the final plans and the permits for the addition are also in progress. We have connected with a group in Minnesota, Design Accessibility (www.accessibilitydesign.com), to do a final review of the plans and make suggestions to create the best possible environment for Kevin. If anyone has suggestions or is interested in contributing to the project please contact us.
As most of you know, it has been a busy few weeks for Kevin and our family. We had a tremendous event at Citizens Bank Park, where hundreds of people came out to celebrate Kevin’s 30th birthday. We also were able to get some closure with the sentencing of Kevin’s shooter.
Since those events, it has been a quiet few weeks for Kevin. He has been largely healthy, with a small infection setback that has been cleared up. He’s had a lot of visitors and has been able to get out a bit. All things considered, he is doing pretty well.
Next step: Addition to the house
Before we summarize the events of the past month and thank people for their support, we wanted to let everyone know that we are hoping to get started on the addition to the house soon. This is really exciting news, since the addition will be suited to Kevin’s needs and should make life easier for all of us. We would not be able to make this step without your support, so we want to again thank all of your for your generosity.
We are looking to build technologies and accessibility upgrades into the space, and we are happy to have any input. Kevin’s cousin, the amazing Jennifer Stryker, will be collecting information and suggestions on room design, assistive technologies, and others issues for the team working on the project. Of course, it makes the most sense to build these technologies into the layout, so we welcome your suggestions now. If you have any suggestions, please drop Jennifer a note at email@example.com.
For those who missed it, there were some really great pieces in the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Daily Times covering the sentencing process. In addition, there was some local TV coverage. We recommend those curious about how the week’s events unfolded visit any of the following:
Kevin’s 30th Birthday Event at Citizens Bank Party
Kevin’s birthday party was a smashing success. We had over four hundred attendees, but with the “Friends of Kevin Neary” logo on the big screen at Citizens Bank Park, it seemed like a city-wide party. We are tremendously grateful to so many people for their donations, attendance, and support – especially the Phillies and the Friends of Kevin Neary committee who pulled together such a fantastic event. With all of your help, we raised over $20,000 for the Kevin Neary Trust, which is going to go a long way! But even more importantly, Kevin had a really great time and loved seeing everyone in one of his favorite places.
For photos from the event, click here: http://christinacelenzaphotography.zenfolio.com/p794177827
That’s all for now — we will have updates as the house progresses. Thanks again for everyone’s support!
As many of you know, the defendant decided to enter a guilty plea on all of the charges, including attempted murder. As a result, sentencing will take place tomorrow.
Part of the sentencing process is the opportunity for those impacted by the crime to offer statements on how it has impacted their lives. These are called “victim impact statements.” For those who are interested in offering victim impact statements, please contact JP Neary at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would like to get a list to the DA as soon as possible to help them plan how to best proceed tomorrow, so please email JP tonight if you plan to give a statement. As we understand it, anyone who would like to can make a statement. The only limitation is that there cannot be any derogatory statements made specifically about or directed towards the defendant — this is simply an opportunity to talk about the impact of the crime.
Proceedings will begin at 10:30 a.m. We encourage everyone interested in attending to gather by 10 a.m. at the courthouse. The District Attorney would like the opportunity to review how the proceedings and statements will go.
We apologize for the short notice but are glad that this will be behind us. Thanks to everyone for your ongoing support.
And most importantly, we’re looking forward to this Friday, which should be a great night. Tickets are available here: http://fokn30.eventbrite.com/
With the trial coming up next week there are a few pertinent details we would like to share.
- Trial Schedule: If all goes well the trial will proceed with jury selection on Monday, testimony on Tuesday and Wednesday, summations on Thursday and deliberations on Friday. If you are planning to attend please email at email@example.com with the date you might want to be there and the names of who all will be coming. We will send this list off to the District Attorney to help them better manage the courtroom. Please let us know by Tuesday morning.
- Jury selection will take most of the day on Monday, so keep that in mind if you are interested in attending.
- The trial will begin right around 9 a.m. and likely break for an hour for lunch. It should conclude around 4:30 p.m. each day.
- Kevin will likely testify Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning if needed.
- There is a victims/witness waiting area on the first floor where anyone attending can gather. The trial will begin by 9:00 a.m. most days. Please allow time to go through security.
- The trial is scheduled for room 907 in the Criminal Justice Center. The address is 1301 Filbert Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107. For more information please visit: http://www.courts.phila.gov/common-pleas/trial/criminal/
- Cell phones cannot be used in the courtroom and will be taken if they go off or are seen being used. It is best to turn them off or leave them in your car.
- It is important that while the trial is underway that everyone attending refrain from emotional outbursts regardless of who may or may not be testifying.
Thanks again for your support. It is our hope that the trial will conclude by Friday — we are very much looking forward to Kevin’s birthday party on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park. As a reminder, tickets will go up in price on Tuesday, so if you’re coming it makes sense to get them now!
Kevin continues to stay healthy and make progress on the number of hours he spends off the ventilator. He’s currently up to 19 hours off the ventilator each day. Staying healthy has kept him on track and enabled to get out a bit, which has been great. Last week, he was really thrilled to attend the wedding of his friends Scott and Angela. He looked dapper, as usual, and had a great time.
Kevin and the family are really excited for his 30th birthday party – which is just around the corner. We have some really great details to announce here. Emceed by WIP radio host Glen Macnow, the event will feature fun for the whole family and a really impressive list of auction items. The committee planning the event and our wonderful sponsors have done a really amazing job. For a full catalog of auction items, click here (large PDF document). The catalog includes suggested bids and lots of information about the items.
Some highlights include:
- Philadelphia hotel packages, including admission to various attractions and fun items for the kids
- Visit to Angelo Cataldi’s show, the Mike and Ike show, and the Glen Macnow/Ray Didinger show
- Museum packages (Brandywine, Hagley Museum, Battleship New Jersey, Longwood Gardens, National Constitution Center, and others)
- Tickets to Philly-area comedy venues, theatres, film festivals, ballet, etc.
- Great restaurant gift certificates, including Union Trust, Starr Restaurants, and many others
- Several Philly sports events (the Army-Navy game, Phillies, Eagles, college sports, etc)
- US Airways vouchers
- Backstage passes to NBC10
- Jersey Shore hotels, activities (golf, surfing, fishing, etc.) and food
- Several New York City items, including concerts and restaurants
- Hidden Creek Golf Club hotel and foursome
- Getaway to Washington, DC at the Renaissance Washington Hotel
- Behind the scenes tour of Hardball with Chris Matthews
- NCIS taping in Los Angeles
- Signed Claude Giroux photo
And, as we had announced previously, one much-talked about item is the opportunity to be an extra and bring your friends to a filming of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia! (We thought this was worth mentioning a few times.)
With so many items, there’s a good chance you’ll walk away with something great. We recommend you get your tickets as soon as you can here! And feel free to invite your friends.
As some of you may know, the trial of Christopher Easter will begin on September 10th. We will provide pertinent details when they are available, but as a family we will not have any public comments on the trial until it is over.
At this time we continue to focus on Kevin’s progress, keeping him healthy, and his birthday party on September 14th. We appreciate everyone’s support as we move forward.
The past few weeks have been quiet! Kevin hasn’t had any health complications, which is really the most important thing. He continues to make progress getting off the ventilator — Kevin is now up to 14 hours a day off of the vent with the assistance of the pacing device that he’s able to use as a result of his successful surgery several months ago. He has had a steady stream of visitors as well — if you’d like to stop by, all we ask is that you give a call to the house first (610-485-7270) to make sure Kevin is free.
Now for the fun stuff – we have some really exciting details to share about Kevin’s birthday party on September 14th, especially some auction items that you won’t want to miss. We’ll turn the blog over to Kevin’s Aunt Denise, who has been working with a committed group of Friends of Kevin Neary to make this even truly special. (Again, if you have auction items or other ways you’d like to help, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Update from Denise Neary on Kevin’s Birthday Party
And now, for something completely different – Kevin’s Aunt Denise here, taking a moment to update everyone on the event on September 14.
As you know, the Friends of Kevin Neary will host a 30th birthday celebration and fundraiser in his honor on Friday evening, September 14 from 7:00 to 10:00 pm at Citizens Bank Park’s Diamond Club. (Kevin will turn 30 on September 22.) Tickets are available here.
What can you expect when you get there?
The event will be held at the Phillies’ Diamond Club – a panoramic view can be seen here. Parking will be free.
WIP SportsRadio personality Glen Macnow will be our master of ceremonies for the evening, and other special guests from the Philadelphia sports world are expected to attend. Some of those guests may or may not be green!
First and foremost, the night is to celebrate Kevin’s birthday, and to toast not just that milestone birthday, but his many triumphs over the last several months.
Kevin and his family have been overwhelmed by the support of family and friends, and from strangers. The evening is a nice opportunity for us to say thanks.
The famous Kevin Neary will be there, in person, to accept birthday greetings!
Not everyone can have Major League Baseball and the Philadelphia Phillies let them throw a party at their house….but of course Kevin can!
Second, we hope to raise some money for Kevin’s continued care. The silent auction will be a great way to do that, with some very special items. Plan to do your holiday shopping that evening!
I’ll tell you about just a few of them:
- a “ride along” for two with Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey;
- accompany emcee Glen Macnow as he does his WIP radio show;
- fantastic tickets to an Eagles game, with an autographed Michael Vick helmet;
- a chance to be an extra, and bring three friends behind the scenes, on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (at the Philly filming next season…spend the day, meet the cast, get autographed merchandise); and,
- tickets for four to the December 8 Army-Navy game at the Linc, decked out in Navy goodies.
- a framed poster from the movie The Notebook, autographed by the movies’ stars
Want to go away?
Auction items include: a beautiful condo on the beach in Sea Isle for Irish Weekend, September 21 – 23, 2012; a gorgeous condo in Ocean City the week of September 15, 2013; a lovely condo in Kissimee, Florida (two tickets to Universal included) and a weekend in DC, with hotel, breakfast and tickets to the Spy Museum included.
How will you get there?
We have Bolt Bus and USAirways vouchers!
Want a staycation?
We have amazing hotel packages in Philadelphia and New Jersey; we have tickets to major Philadelphia professional and college sporting events; to Delaware Valley cultural and entertainment venues; and to some of the best of Philadelphia restaurants.
Thinking A to Z? We have Arden Theatre to Yards Brewing Company.
Whether you want brunch at Sabrina’s, or prime rib at Union Trust, whether you love comedy clubs or the ballet, want to read a best-selling author or bring in the new year at Dave and Buster’s….and almost everything in between…..there is an auction item for you.
Haven’t bought your tickets yet?
And tell your friends….be like Rosie Connors, who is encouraging her friends to be part of FORC (Friends of Rosie Connors).
Join us as we cheer the force that is Kevin Neary!
Hope to see you there!
Special thanks to our event sponsors:
- Cornucopia Catering
- Gold Transportation
- Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and
- Starr Restaurants
And, of course, we want to thank the Phillies organization again!
*******************************************************************Some frequently asked questions:
Cash bar? Sad, but true.
Children? Welcome to participate; must have a ticket.
Credit accepted? We hope to have credit card as an option. Cash and checks will make the checkout process go faster.
What does the ticket buy? Free parking, dinner, a fun evening. It is a bargain….dessert is being provided by Cornucopia, and we aren’t being charged to use the Diamond Club.
Want to sponsor the event? More gifts? Contact me, email@example.com. We would like to put together a program, so that those attending can preview the auction events available.
We plan to post an auction catalog to this site in early September.