Flood Assistance for Jo Arnone
SHE'S ALWAYS HELPED OTHERS - PLEASE HELP HER NOW
On June 6, 2014, a powerful storm system stalled over northern Maryland, dumping over 3.5 inches of rain in less than an hour. Overwhelming the storm drains, the water poured into Jo Arnone’s yard to a depth of four feet, sweeping away her fencing and flooding her basement. In addition to damage to the house itself, the water heater and furnace were swamped along with many precious personal and historical items. Extensive mold mitigation will be required. Jo has no flood insurance and limited resources to address the major damage caused by the flooding.
“For over 30 years Jo Arnone has been a community fundraiser doing auctions for worthwhile charities all over the country. She is the original and resident auctioneer for Leather Pride Night in New York City and Philadelphia Leather Pride Night. Recently the Leather Heart Foundation presented her with the Million Dollar Heart Award in recognition of having raised over $1,000,000 for charities including Brother Help Thyself, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, National Gay and Lesbian Antiviolence Project, National Coalition on Sexual Freedom, International Antiviolence Project, Heritage of Pride, Capital Pride, Whitman Walker Clinic, The Leather Archive, Goal, FireFLAG/EMS and In the Life...
Her awards are many; among them are Heritage of Pride’s David Norrie Award, for behind the scenes volunteerism, The Hero of Leather Pride Award, The American Brotherhood Award for Community Service, DC Eagle Community Appreciation Award, The Legend Award, Lifetime Achievement Awards from both Pantheon of Leather and the NLA, and The Mister Marcus Hernandez Lifetime Achievement Award.” (Quoted from the web site of the 2014 Philadelphia Leather Leadership Conference.)
Not one to request help for herself, Jo has agreed to allow me, as a friend, to share her situation. Anyone desiring information about my connection to Jo is welcome to contact me. Jo has given tirelessly of her energy and resources to help others. Now she needs our help and generosity. Your donation will help this very special woman with the process of repairing her home and rebuilding her life.
"I hope you will all accept my apology for not having personally written something long before now. I tried, but words didn’t come easily through the emotion and exhaustion I felt. Susannah has been kind enough to be my voice to you all through this.
My first thanks are to her for reaching out to the community with my plight, something she, and others that know me well, knew I never would have done on my own. The hardest thing for me to do is ask for help. Giving help has always been something I found easy. I was raised in a family that strongly believed in reaching out a hand to others in need, but not ever to ask for it. You just buck up, keep up a brave face, and do what’s needed. Trust when I tell you my family was proud, but this attitude wasn’t about pride or vanity, it was about being stubborn and independent, two monikers that described my Mother better than most, and certainly her two daughters as well. So thank you Susannah, kind friend, for doing this for me and not taking no for an answer.
I thank each and every one of you who have reached out with a kind word, fond thoughts, blessings, good wishes, or a donation. You have helped sustain my partner and I through this time of incredible hardship. Susannah has kept you apprised of some of it and you have seen the pictures, but these last two weeks have epitomized the old saying “Anything that can go wrong will.”
First came the flood, four feet of water coursing through the yard, washing away the fencing on both sides of my property and a good foot of it visits my basement. Next comes finding out I have no hot water and realizing my hot water heater would not relight. The plumber said county code required it to be replaced because of black mold fears! He also told me the same would apply to my furnace. That was when I called my insurance company and found out none of my flood damage would be covered under my home owners insurance.
The county inspector came to certify the new heater and said he is recommending that I be allowed to repair rather than replace the furnace since he believes the filtering elements in the furnace remained above water and are dry and clean. That was wonderful news. Now I can get the HVAC techs in to do an inspection and make needed repairs. They would not even look at it before the county inspector did. I am glad it isn’t winter!
Then my dogs…Emily developed a rash over her chest and legs requiring a vet run and antibiotics. Then my Winnie woke with a swollen left front leg and a bad limp. Another vet run, more antibiotics and pain meds, but by the next day she was vomiting uncontrollably and the leg was just as bad. Back to the vet for more treatment, and an aspiration biopsy of the leg. Yesterday I got the news my little one has mast cell carcinoma. More tests will be conducted tomorrow to give us a better idea what next steps will be needed. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. She is my very special little one and the last direct connection I have to my George.
The basement is about 85% done, with just one more wall of boxes and some furniture to deal with along with a tons of now dry items which need to be carefully reboxed. I have lost some books which blew up, becoming expanded additions, then just fell apart, and an entire record collection dating back to Caruso is now without sleeves or covers. The garbage men actually took everything we put out on the curb so one load is gone and a second will make its way out to the curb later this week.
All joking aside, we are lucky. Only our basement took a hit, boxes can be repacked, things replaced, fences mended.
It takes something this catastrophic to let you realize how much people care. That is the wonderful thing in all this, the silver lining I never saw coming. Thank you for all you have given me."
So sorry you are going through this Jo. I will do all I can through my groups & events to help you as much as possible. God bless, positive energy and huge hugs!
Jo please know you are in my thoughts. As soon as my check hits I will be able to do at least a little more.