Hope amidst the rubble: University creates relief fund for Sherman’s family

By Jordyn Willis


On Jan. 29 tragedy and sadness filled the hearts of the University of Findlay, its students, and staff when Tim Sherman, senior theater major, lost his family home and possessions in a fire.

At 7:30 p.m., Sherman’s home at 233 Elm Street in Findlay caught fire due to electrical error within the walls.

“The house was over 90 years old, the wiring couldn’t handle it anymore,” said Sherman.

Tim resided in this house with his parents, sister and pets.

Sherman’s mother and sister were in Detroit at the time of the fire, and the neighbors, who heard the windows explode from the flames, called 911.

“What was weird was that I was in the house between 3:15 and 5 p.m. that day and everything was fine,” said Sherman.

Sherman was on campus at the University rehearsing his lines for UF’s spring musical, Xanadu, and no one else was in the house at the time of the fire.

Four family pets died in the blaze: two dogs which were in kennels and two cats found in guest bedrooms.

The fire took most of the family’s belongings, leaving them to wonder if anything from their home would be salvageable.

“If it wasn’t burnt from the flames, it was smoke damaged. I think that’s worse than being scorched, things look fine but the smell of the smoke may never come out,” said Sherman.

UF is attempting to help Sherman in any way possible, giving Sherman a place to live on campus, books and meals at Henderson.

Some of the faculty and Sherman’s professors have donated clothes and household items to his family as well.

Some faculty have also started a fund for Sherman and his family in aid of relief.

“There are not a lot of theatre kids here at the University, so they are our family,” said Kelley Hutton, administrative assistant for the visual and performing arts.

An email was sent out to the dean and the performing arts students making them aware that a fund had be put into place for Tim and his family, started by Hutton, Matt Stimmel, technical director and scenic designer and Dr. Michael Anders, music professor.

Inserts were also placed in the “Xanadu” programs for the patrons who came to see the show last weekend.

Outside patrons, who have watched Tim’s shows for four years, have been the majority of the contributions.

“We are just trying to raise enough to help them. We want Tim to only have to worry about school,” said Hutton.

According to Hutton, the fundraiser is going well and will be in place until the end of the month.

“We didn’t tell Tim or his family that we were putting this fundraiser together. We didn’t want to ask, just do,” said Hutton. “Tim probably didn’t know until the show, if and when his family saw the insert in the program.”

If anyone wants to contribute to the fundraiser, they are advised to contact Hutton or visit her office in the Frank J. Egner Center of Performing Arts building room 217.

Sherman has a message he wants everyone to hear.

“When you look around, take one moment to stop and see how much the things around you have cultivated your life. When it’s gone you suddenly remember all the memories of how it cultivated your life. My memories are still there, but now an amount of pain comes with it. Now I have the memory of things being lost in that fire,” said Sherman.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *