Oceanex gives brain injury group Christmas gift

Shipping company Oceanex has given the Newfoundland and Labrador Brain Injury association a cheque for $40,000 to replace money stolen by its former executive director.

Oceanex CEO Sid Hynes presented the cheque to the association on Monday.

The money replaces what was stolen by the association's former executive director — Keri Lynn McGrath —between Jan. 2009 and Jan. 2010.

On Nov. 5, McGrath was convicted of stealing the money and sentenced to seven months' house arrest.

The theft left the organization unable to pay for an office or programs for its members, such as a summer camp.

Hynes said he heard about the Brain Injury Association's predicament through local media, and decided that it was time for his business to act.

"It's basically a volunteer organization, families helping members of families. So if you're not gonna help these people who would you help?" said Hynes. "And we try to do our best, so I thought we should do it."

Association president Michelle Ploughman was thrilled with Hynes' gift.

"It's a huge boost. I mean we move forward in a week what would take us probably a take a year to gather together," said Ploughman.

Yet there was a black cloud over the event.

Ploughman said her group found out this morning that McGrath will appeal her conviction and her sentence.

"It's hard," admitted Ploughman. "I mean it's such a great day, but some of the shine has been cancelled because of this news for sure."

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