Hardworking volunteers give widow a helping hand

Widow Elsie Gersekowski with (back, from left) Mike Briggs, David Janetzki MP, David Gray, and Greg Youngberry.

A group of Toowoomba men have volunteered their recent weekends to lend a helping hand to a widow, 62, who was struggling with an overgrown yard and unfinished house painting.

Apex Club of Toowoomba president Greg Youngberry organised the working bee for grandmother Elsie Gersekowski whose house had been sitting three-quarters painted for a long time.

A group of 10 current and previous Apex volunteers surprised Mrs Gersekowski when they arrived at her Haden house with scaffolding, paintbrushes, lawnmowers, and tools.

“I was shocked and couldn’t believe all these people were here to help,” Mrs Gersekowski said.

“This is the first time I was hearing about Apex, people helping people,” she said.

“Greg is a good person, a good helper, he has good heart.”

Mrs Gersekowski’s husband Lester, 66, was a truck driver who was hit by a piece of steel during an unloading accident in 2014. He died after spending one month in the Toowoomba Hospital ICU.

They had been married for 27 years and their youngest daughter was 19 at the time of his death.

Mrs Gersekowski said a weight had been lifted off her shoulders to have the rest of the house exterior painted.

“This house is very important to me. It belonged to my husband’s grandparents, then his parents, then us,” Mrs Gersekowski said.

“I can finally see the yard now. I am very thankful,” she said.

Member for Toowoomba South David Janetzki MP commended the community spirit of the Apex Club members.

“In our community there are many widows and widowers who are struggling to live their daily lives alone and they are often forgotten,” Mr Janetzki said.

“It is touching to see Apex members giving up their weekends to help one person in need,” he said.

“Volunteers form part of the backbone of our community. They make significant and lasting contributions, in this case one that Elsie will never forget.”

The Apex Club of Toowoomba is a volunteer community service organisation that offers men aged 18 to 45 an opportunity to learn more about themselves, gain new skills, make new friends, and help those in need. Mr Youngberry joined Apex in 2019.

“Our club paid for the paint and Elsie really needed a hand,” Mr Youngberry said.

“It’s always nice to someone who doesn’t expect it – who is struggling – and they are always very grateful,” he said.