Fund-raiser goes ‘Skatin’ for Katie’ |

Fund-raiser goes ‘Skatin’ for Katie’

“Skatin’ for Katie,” a fund-raiser to benefit Katie O’Leary has been scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m. Oct. 13 at the South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena, 1176 Rufus Allen Blvd.

For a donation of $10 or more everyone can spend an afternoon on the ice and help a longtime local elderly lady who desperately needs a helping hand.

“We first became aware of Katie’s plight when she came to the Charter Communications office and requested that we disconnect her cable,” said Dolores Russell, who works at Charter Communications.

“We have been acquainted with Katie for many years as one of our customers, so Nancie Norton, who also works at Charter, asked her if she was moving and Katie said ‘no, my TV broke and I can’t afford to buy a new one,'” Russell said.

The next day Sandi Eissinger, another Charter employee, and Norton went out and got a new TV for Katie and took it to her home. What they found was a life altering experience. No human being should have to live under the conditions that O’Leary, age 93, was living under.

She has been living in a 50-year-old travel trailer that is 8-feet wide and 26-feet long. The only heat she has comes from the burners on her stove. The windows are sealed and blankets are attached to the walls to keep in the heat. The only way to make the toilet work is to haul a bucket of water and pour it into the tank to get it to flush.

“This set into motion the move to find Katie a new home. She is very proud and did not want to accept public assistance. Katie has no family left and lives solely on her Social Security. She was afraid someone would put her into a home and we were determined that this would not happen,” Russell said.

A new home has been found for Katie in the same mobile park where she has been living for the past 25 years. Now, comes the hard part — the new $5,000 home has to be paid for. Norton, Eissinger and Russell have made the down payment and have been given time to raise the balance.

“We would be most grateful for anything you could donate. So please open your wallets and your hearts. Believe me, it will give you a warm fuzzy feeling,” Russell said.

Donations can be made to the Katie O’Leary Fund at El Dorado Bank at the “Y.” The account number is 07-00-764849. In addition everyone is encouraged to attend the “Skatin’ for Katie” fund-raiser Oct. 13 at the South Lake Tahoe Ice Area.

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