PEPPERELL — Local residents are taking action to support Bob Hill, who lost his wife in a large apartment fire last week.
A pancake breakfast is planned for August 17 from 8 to 10:30 a.m. at VFW Post 3291 at 55 Leighton Street. The breakfast was organized by the post, where Hill was a commander, along with the Middlesex Global War on Terrorism and Friends Never Forget organizations. The former is a nonprofit consisting of veterans, civilians and members of military families that recently erected a monument on Hollis Street paying tribute to those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan after the September 11th terrorist attacks. The latter sponsors children of fallen military servicemen to attend summer camps.
Bob’s wife, Sharon, was killed in her apartment at 50 Main Street on July 30 after a fire broke-out sometime around 8:30 a.m. Four firefighters were injured trying to put out the fire and six families were displaced from the damage to the building.
Jean Connolly, chair of the Middlesex GWOT, said on Tuesday that she and her husband met up with Bob around 2 p.m. the day of the fire. The next day, she met with current Post Commander Stu Young offering the GWOT’s help on anything that could be done for Bob.
Connolly said she helped set-up a GoFundMe page looking to raise $25,000 for the families displaced from the fire.
“In regards to Bob Hill, my husband became good friends with him as part of the honor guard with the VFW over 15 years ago,” she said in an email. “Then they would golf weekly together until Sharon had a stoke over 7 years ago, leaving her paralyzed on one side. Since that time Bob has been her care giver.”
Jason Main, co-founder of Friends Never Forget, said he served in the Navy and felt the need to support a fellow military man like Bob.
“When I learned of the tragedy and realized that Bob was not only a veteran but a former post commander and current member at the post I belong to, along with a friend of Jean who I have worked closely with in the past few years, I knew we needed to support this hero and get him the support he needed in this tragic time.” Main said in a press release.