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Town helps family facing tough times

"We live in a community like no other in Guilderland," Lori Rodino said. "So much kindness and generosity. I want to give a huge 'thank you' to the whole community. It's just amazing."

She said support from Christ the King Church, the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce, Sen. Neil Breslin, D-Delmar, friends, neighbors and all the businesses and organizations that contributed are helping to make a tough situation manageable.

The Fredendell Funeral Home has offered to cover the costs Rachel's funeral, the Guilderland food pantry is coordinating with the Chamber to donate food and Breslin is working to stall the foreclosure on the Rodino's home, said Kathy Burbank, executive director of the Chamber.

Breslin representative Kate Berry said when foreclosure proceedings began in August, Breslin sent out a number of e-mails to those involved and was able to work out a deal with a lender to make the mortgage more affordable, but Berry said even though the foreclosure proceedings were stalled, the family is not out of the woods yet.

"We try to help in every way we can," she said. "But the family still needs more fundraising if they are going to keep their home."

Doug Arnott, owner of several McDonald's restaurants will host a fundraising event on Friday, Dec. 18, from 4-7 p.m. at the McDonald's on Western Avenue. Jen Cornell, a neighbor of the Rodinos has been selling butterflies for Rachel and hosted a number of events bringing in several thousand dollars. There are funds at both Key Bank and Pioneer Bank in Guilderland under Rodino Family Fund, according to the GCC.

Cornell said there are still butterflies available for $30 each, or $50 for two. Through a partnership with Philip's Hardware, she said the butterflies were purchased below cost. They sold 800 "garden butterflies," more than were available from the manufacturers.

"It's been an honor to be able to help them. They are a wonderful family. It was a great fundraiser," Cornell said. "The community has helped out a lot."

Cornell said she has spent a lot of time trying to be "more or less the friendly neighbor," and be there to talk and listen to the Rodinos.

Donations to Pioneer Savings Bank to the Rodino Family Fund at 1883 Western Ave. and checks or Price Chopper Cards to the Chamber at 2050 Western Ave. are welcomed.

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