NORTH YARMOUTH — The family of a woman who died suddenly last month from breast cancer is raising money to buy her former business and keep her ancestral Falmouth home in the family.
Linda Polkey died Jan. 12, from undiagnosed and untreated cancer. The disease struck quickly, shocking family and friends, according to her niece, Jennifer Noyes.
“I hate that she’s gone and never really knew how many lives that she really touched and made better,” Noyes said Monday. “I have so much frustration that she struggled so in silence, financially and physically, and never asked for help in any way … but continued to give daily of herself and gave words of encouragement to others and us until the very end.”
Faced with competition from the likes of Redbox and Netflix, Polkey last May closed Vacationland Video on Walnut Hill Road, where she employed youths with special needs so that they could learn about having a job, and allowed cancer patients to rent movies for free, Noyes said.
The $165,000 GoFundMe fundraiser would help pay off the store property and maintain it, and pay off debt Polkey incurred trying to keep the business open, Noyes said. It would also allow the building to become a place for community members to gather, with a bench and vegetable garden added as a memorial to Polkey.
“We’re kind of looking for … a way to keep (the property) sustainable by the community,” Noyes said.
Although the store property attracted an offer from a buyer, “it was so far below property value, that we thought, ‘we’re just going to try to do this fundraiser and and see what people in the community can put together,'” she said.
The funds would also allow Polkey’s Longwoods Road home in Falmouth, which she struggled to afford after her parents died, to remain in the family, Noyes said.
If the effort fails to reach its goal, the family would at least like to install a bench memorial to Polkey, perhaps near the ocean, where she enjoyed sitting, her aunt said.
The fundraising website is gofundme.com/1648vg.
Linda Polkey, shown here with her nephew Andrew, died suddenly last month from breast cancer. Her relatives are trying to raise $165,000 to keep her North Yarmouth business and Falmouth home.