Tragedy struck on Christmas Day for the family of a Jet City Rollergirl. The Everett-based roller derby league holds many of its matches at Edmonds Community College.
Nine-year-old Tobiah “Zippy” Leonard, daughter of Julie Janeshefski, was in the back seat of her family’s Ford Explorer when a tree toppled on top of her during a windstorm on Whidbey Island. She died on the scene. Her father, Tim Leonard, suffered a broken neck.
Our news partners at The Seattle Times describe their situation:
Tim Leonard, an artist and sculptor on Whidbey Island, had surgery at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle on Monday. His wife and their three surviving children, ages 12, 18 and 20, have spent much of the past few days with him, Jim Janeshefski said.
How the family will survive financially has been weighing heavily on everyone. Tim Leonard will likely be out of work for months while recovering. He owns Heavy Metal Works, a custom metal fabricator, in Langley. Julie Janeshefski works at one of the two market and mercantile Star Stores on Whidbey Island, her father said.
Teammates have set up a PayPal account to help with the family’s expenses. To donate, go to: www.jetcityrollergirls.com.
“A good chunk of this is coming from the roller-derby community throughout the nation and outside the U.S. We literally are a family. That’s why people join the sport. It’s a sense of sisterhood,” teammate Erin Clark told The Seattle Times. “Their family is struggling to get by as it is. They need as much help as they can get financially.”