B y Krystle S. Morey

Kontessa Siliski lost her mother when she was just 15 years old. Now at age 17, she is responsible for paying her late mother’s funeral costs and other inherited expenses.

On June 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Telescope Casual Furniture will host Kontessa’s Tent Sale, a large-scale furniture sale that includes scratch and dent items, fabrics, pallets and bake sale items.

Other items including a table and chair set and Adirondack chairs will be raffled off.

All proceeds go to Siliski.

“We are cleaning out all corners of the factory,” said Telescope CEO Kathy Juckett. “Every proceed of everything that we sell goes to Kontessa.”

“When I realized what she was facing, I said ‘You know what, this is something that should be a community effort’,” Juckett said. “That’s a lot of responsibility for a young girl, so we just wanted to help her get that burden off her shoulders so she can move forward.”

Siliski’s mother, Florence Van Guilder Siliski, passed away April 12, 2014 after battling diabetes and kidney disease.

Her mother was a bus driver in the Granville Central School District for a few years and she worked at a few local businesses including Chapman’s General Store and Schoony’s. She grew up in Middle Granville and graduated from Granville High School.

“I used to take care of her … for the five years that she was sick,” Siliski said. She was 10 when she started caring for her mom, administering insulin shots and helping with dialysis treatments.

At first, Kontessa was able to care for her mother at home, but as her illness progressed, she spent her time at Indian River Nursing Home and the Haynes House of Hope. Siliski said her mother loved horses and watching wrestling.

“I just paid off my mom’s headstone,” said Siliski, who lives with her grandparents, Milo and Diane Stevens, in Granville.

Siliski has five acres on Hicks Road in Middle Granville that was willed to her. She has been trying to sell the land to help pay for funeral expenses, car payments and other inherited expenses, but someone keeps removing the for-sale sign from the property.

Siliski owes $6,000 in funeral expenses and another $5,000 in car payments.

Juckett stressed the importance of Siliski hanging onto her land for as long as she can. “It only goes up in value,” she said.

Telescope’s goal is to raise $15,000.

“We’re hopeful that we’ll raise so much that she will have a little nest egg for college,” Juckett said.

It’s not unusual for Telescope to get involved with raising money or donating to local causes and organizations, including fire departments and rescue squads. “It’s part of our culture,” Juckett said.

“We always participate in things in the community when people are in need, but this just seemed to be a thing with her doing as well as she is doing academically and being the kind of person that she is, we didn’t want her to have this weight on her going into her senior year of high school,” she added.

Siliski said she is excited to see everybody come together Saturday.

To help with fundraising, Glens Falls National Bank set up Siliski with a bank account.

Those interested in donating money to help Siliski with expenses should mail or deliver checks, payable to Kontessa Siliski, to the Granville Branch of the Glens Falls National Bank, 8646 Route 22 in Granville.

Donations can also be made at the June 18 event, which will be held in the field across from Price Chopper. Parking is available in the red lot across from the Telescope Casual Furniture factory.

“We really just want her to not have to have these burdens … and have her be able to enjoy her senior year and plan out where she wants to go without having to be limited by this huge responsibility that she has,” Juckett said.



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