Hundreds attend benefit for Homer girl hurt in boating accident

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Friends and family members of Kaelynne Driscoll gathered at the American Legion in Cortland Saturday for an event to benefit the Homer girl who lost and arm and a leg in a boating accident on Skaneateles Lake last month.

Since the July 6 incident, friends and families have set up charities and events to support Kaelynne’s recovery efforts and medical expenses incurred by the family.

William Oursler, the girl’s uncle-in-law, said he wishes she could see the outpouring of support from the community.

“She isn’t able to make it today, and the doctors can’t discharge her safely. She really wants to be here, but with everything going on, it makes sense to keep her there,” Oursler said.

The event was organized by a group known as Kaelynne’s Army, which was created in the wake of the boating accident, and featured a barbecue and raffle. Prizes were donated from friends and local businesses.

“Right now everyone is looking forward to helping Kaelynne,” Oursler said when asked how the family has responded to the tragedy. “She has handled it really well. Sometimes we have setbacks, but for the most part she is ready.

“She hates being in the hospital. She is ready to leave and go to Boston,” he added.

Kaelynne is heading to Massachusettes to be fitted with prosthetics, according to family members. Oursler says the procedure and recovery might take a month or more and he intends to establish an annual benefit to continue helping Kaelynne with her recovery.