Community pulls together to help Kennett business owner Olen Grimes
● By J. Chambless
By John Chambless
Olen Grimes, owner of My Polished Salon
and Artworks Gallery in Kennett Square, was seriously injured in a
car crash on Nov. 11, but the community is responding with support
that reflects how deeply he is appreciated in the region.
Grimes is a longtime longtime member of the Kennett at Longwood Rotary Club, and he makes a donation each month to local charities from the money earned at My Polished Salon. To keep his businesses running while he has multiple surgeries and rehabilitation, his fellow Rotarians are taking turns working at both of his businesses.
His friend and fellow Rotarian Matt Grieco, of the Grieco Family Funeral Homes, started a Gofundme account on Nov. 24 that to date has raised nearly $2,000 for Grimes.
Grimes was driving on Baltimore Pike at the intersection with McFarlan Road on Nov. 11 when a car turned in front of him and they collided head-on. He suffered multiple fractures to his left hip, leg, ankle and foot, and will need surgeries for the next three to six months or longer. According to Grieco, “Doctors have stated that Olen will potentially never walk normally again.”
In an interview, Grieco said, “In the borough, he’s always been available to other small businesses with help, collaboration and various initiatives. In Rotary, he volunteers and donates financially to various causes as they arise -- like his own situation -- and in business, he has consistent promotional programs, especially at the salon, where a percentage of every sale goes to local causes, such as the Senior Center, Kennett High School cheerleaders, and the Kennett Food Bank.
“By being a business owner in the downtown, he’s helping grow, maintain and preserve small-town America,” Grieco said. “Kennett is cool as a result of business owners like Olen, who are not only making a living with their business, but are committed to operating in a small town like Kennett. He could operate his businesses anywhere, but he chose downtown Kennett Square.”
Grieco said the Gofundme account was organized with other Rotarians, and “all ideas and offers have been, and will continue to be, shared with Olen and his wife. Part of the effort that Rotary and others have implemented is supporting Olen and Roxanne, both at home and at the stores. A 'support rotation' has been established for Rotarians to sign up in shifts to support the Grimes in multiple ways.”
Especially during the Christmas season, the borough-wide effort to support Grimes echoes the end of the classic film “It's a Wonderful Life,” when George Bailey's friends turn up to donate money because he's such a big part of their lives.
“I have to say, as a 16-year member of the Longwood Rotary Club, this effort has to be one of the most heartwarming experiences to date,” Grieco said. “Other Rotarians have made similar comments. Our motto of 'Service above Self' is what Olen followed every day when he was well, and it’s exactly what he will receive from us while he’s recovering.”
To contribute to the Gofund me account, visit www.gofundme.com, and enter “Olen Grimes” in the search box.
To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email firstname.lastname@example.org.