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Community helps Niskayuna family after fire claims dog, damages home

Community helps Niskayuna family after fire claims dog, damages home

Family loses home, dog, in house fire
Community helps Niskayuna family after fire claims dog, damages home
Tim Doherty, his wife Tori and their two children, Miles, 3, and Cam, lost their home and dog (inset) in a recent fire.
Photographer: Provided

NISKAYUNA — When Jimmy Bulmer first heard about the Aug. 29 fire that destroyed the home and killed the dog of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Capital Area Director Tim Doherty, he recalled the summer between his fifth grade and sixth grade.

Bulmer, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Capital Area director of resource development, said his home was destroyed when he was a youngster.

"We lost everything," Bulmer said."Coincidentally, it was the Boys & Girls Club where I was at, and they had to be the ones to tell me. I didn't have any place to go to, with that shock and everything."

"They got the phone call, and they had to tell my younger brother and I, and gave us a big hug," Bulmer said. "When you hear that, you have know idea what to think, you're in shock."

Bulmer said he could sympathize with Doherty, his wife Tori and their two children, Miles, 3, and Cam, 10-months-old, whose home burned down while they were vacationing on Cape Cod. The family's beloved dog, Sundance, died in the fire. He said when he heard the news from Justin Reuter, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Capital Area, they both knew the organization needed to spring into action to help Doherty.

The Boys & Girls Club helped set up a Gofundme.com account for the Doherty's here with the goal of raising $10,000 for the family. As of Saturday evening the page has raised $2,973.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Capital Area’s Fire Victims Fund has also been set up enabling people to donate money at all area SEFCU branches.

Bulmer said Doherty only moved back to the Capital Region from Texas in January. Four years ago he had been the director of operations for the Albany Boys & Girls Club, until he decided to move closer to his wife's family in Texas.

Bulmer said during his first stint with the Albany Boys & Girls Club Doherty had been instrumental in helping the organization transition into being an organization that operates primarily out of a single clubhouse location to one that provides after school programs at school districts, receiving revenue through state and federal grants.

He said the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Capital Area, which includes a merger of the Albany and Troy branches of the organization, plus Rensselaer, now operates 10 school-district-based programs in Albany and three in Troy, employing 250 staff and providing services for 1,800 children. 

Tim Doherty returned to the Capital Region to lead the new enlarged club. 

"What makes me connect with Tim Doherty is just his passion and his desire to be a part of the Boys & Girls Club movement. This is what he loves doing and where he sees himself," Bulmer said.

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