Monday, August 5, 2019

A Collinsport Historical Society writer needs your help

Frank Jay Gruber has been contributing to The Collinsport Historical Society almost from the beginning, and is a founding member of what I jokingly call the "board of directors."

His first contribution was for our Grayson Hall Blog-a-thon way back in 2012, and he's since written about such movies as House of Dark ShadowsDracula Has Risen from the Grave and Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. Frank is also a great guy, and a fan's fan. When I attended my first Dark Shadows Festival in 2016, he offered to pick me up at the airport in Newark, N.J. and shuttle me to Tarrytown, N.Y. That, alone, should tell you something about his character. Whenever anyone asks me for a favor, I remember how far out of his way Frank went for me that weekend and try to live up to those standards. (If you've ever been to the Newark airport, you know he set the bar pretty high, ha ha.)

On July 31, Frank began chemotherapy following a diagnosis of Stage IV pancreatic cancer, which had already spread to his liver by the time it was detected. I don't have any profound insight into his situation. The word "unfair" keeps pushing my other thoughts to the margins. I'm struggling to complete this paragraph, but in the end it doesn't really matter what I do or say ... Frank doesn't need my platitudes right now. But he's a good guy and I hope he pulls through this.

On July 19, Frank's friend Chris Vignola launched a fundraiser to help cover his medical expenses. You can find it on Facebook at and the goal is $20,000. Here's a snippet from the page's summary:
"Frank and his family, wife of 30 years Kathy, his two daughters Cristina and Melissa have had a series of bad luck. In 1989 Frank suffered a brain stem injury and has been permanently disabled in addition to 8 herniated discs from a car accident. I have asked for things thru the years for my special kids and vets but this one is even more personal to me. Please anything you can give. Give a little each time you can through out this fundraiser , it doesnt need to be a giant amount in one shot. Again he is one of our own please step up the plate for this avid Yankees fan and lets hit it out of the park for him!"
$20,000 for one family is a major expense, but The Collinsport Historical Society's thousands of readers should be able to make a sizable dent in that goal. Consider it the bill coming due for all the free content we've provided here over the years.

You can find the Facebook fundraiser online HERE. Please consider donating.

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