Artist - Steve Gore
Steve Gore is a chainsaw artist who is using his God-given talent to help people in need. Steve was well-known for his detailed, beautiful wood carvings when, in 2009, he was brutally attacked in an attempted murder that left him with severe injuries and nearly caused liver and kidney failure.
The damage was extensive. His skull was fractured , His left arm was shattered, his kidneys and liver were shutting down and more than 30 blood clots formed in his leg, severe bruises and lacerations covered much of his body, and his hands had been broken. He was struck a total of 59 times. He was found 15 hours later and given a 3% chance of survival.
Though he recovered over the next two years without undergoing a single surgery, he was left mentally and emotionally damaged. His hands recovered, but his creativity and will to make art had vanished. He fell into a deep depression and became emotionally distant. He could no longer be around family and friends. It was almost impossible for him to be in a crowd.
Thankfully, during this time of struggle, he met some Vietnam veterans. They talked to Steve, a veteran himself, for 11 hours, explaining that he suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Even though Steve’s PTSD is non-combat-related, the symptoms and suffering are the same regardless of the cause. The vets saved his life by teaching him how to identify his “triggers”, the circumstances and thoughts that bring on a bout of PTSD. By providing him with this insight, Steve is better able to manage his PTSD, and now shares these tips with others.
While healing, Steve lost his home and business, and his girlfriend, Marcella Brescoll, to cancer. He started over with one chainsaw and a bag of clothes while living in a small hotel room. Rather than giving in to his grief and demons, Steve refocused and fulfilled the promises he made to Marci and the veterans who helped him – he completed work on the “Tribute to Fallen Soldiers II” memorial sculpture, which was on a nationwide tour with the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, and he is “paying it forward” by helping others.
Following the Wall tour, Steve decided to go to small-town America to work with direct-impact charities and individuals, and “Chainsaws for Charity™” was born. CFC travels the country looking for families or causes who need help.
In January 2014, Steve was asked to create a monument for two fallen Toledo firefighters. Since that time, this memorial has evolved into a national tribute to fallen first responders, from military to law enforcement. The tribute is being called the “American First Responders Memorial Monument.”
Steve feels a real kinship with the first responders, as a large number of these brave men and women also suffer from PTSD and have a high rate of suicide. It's Steve's hope that the AFRMM will go on a national tour where he can help continue to pay it forward and educate PTSD sufferers all across the country. One of his goals is to change the definition of PTSD: P.roud T.ough S.trong D.etermined.
It has taken a great deal of strength and courage for Steve to overcome and survive the obstacles in his path. He simply follows the plan God has for him. He is an inspiration and the epitome of what it means to live a “Rare Life.”
Tim is married to his high school sweetheart, Cyndi. They have 2 children and
5 grandchildren. They live in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Tim was employed at G.E. and a U.A.W. from 1978 until he retired in 2018. He has experience in manufactring operaions Logistics (shipping, receiving, and distribution). He has done lite machining, inspection and quality, and control and track calibrated tooling.
He has 20 years experience as a Production Assembly Mechanic. This included new production and teardown procedures. He has worked on commerical and miliary aviation engines, Marine and Naval engins and industrial power generation turbine engines.
Veterans' Liason - James Penlon
My name is James Penlon, and I proudly serve on the Board of Directors with Chainsaws For Charities as the Veterans' Liaison.
I grew up in the town of Webster, NY. A beautiful town on the east side of Rochester, NY. Grew up with a younger sister and a great set of parents. I had the usual teenage life- bicycles, dirt bikes, hunting and fishing, Boy Scouts of America, paper route and cutting grass to make some extra money, and school. Life decided to throw a BIG wrench at me at the age of 15. My mother was diagnosed with cancer. Sadly, she lost her battle with this horrible disease just weeks after my 16th birthday, and a couple weeks before Christmas. Not the kind of thing any child wants, or should have happen to them.
My senior year at Webster High School, I finally was able to do what I always wanted since I was a young child, and that was to enlist in the US Army. I would end up serving 22 ½ years in the Army Reserves and National Guard. During my enlistment, I held multiple jobs to include Communications, Medical supply specialist, medic, artilleryman, and transportation specialist. Due to my training as a medic, I chose a career in the medical field (EMT), working with multiple volunteer ambulance agencies, at a Boy Scouts of America camp ground, and two paid ambulance companies for a period of 16 years. During my tenure at the last paid agency (Monroe Ambulance) I held positions in multiple areas within the company from an EMT, dispatcher, driver for the transportation division, trainer, training and safety supervisor, to the Operations Manager of the Transportation division.
During my time in service, I was activated and served at Ground Zero in NYC and served with multiple homeland security missions in the state of NY. In 2008, we were activated and deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan as part of Task Force Phoenix VII, serving at Camp Phoenix in a transportation battalion, as a driver and gunner, and a medic.
After returning home from Afghanistan, I dealt with a failed marriage, the loss of personal possessions, and would move to Colorado. After my move across the country, I remarried, only to end up divorced, and moving in with an old Army buddy of mine.
One year later I was diagnosed with Stage 4A- throat, tongue and lymph node cancer… Started treatment in May of 2014, and completed treatment on June18, 2014. Then dealing with pain, depression, another failed relationship, 2 suicide attempts, hospitalizations, and another move back across the country to finish my recovery in NC with my sister. After healing up from my treatment, I decided to purchase a Harley Davidson. I wanted to ride and live free, enjoy another motorcycle, and start my life over. This is when I met the love of my life. We met in September, moved in together in January, and were married in November of 2016. During this time, I joined the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association. A motorcycle group of Combat proven Veterans, who ride motorcycles and support other veterans. Our Motto: Veterans helping Veterans.
While we never want to admit to being “weak” I was diagnosed with PTSD and a few other issues relating to the military. Since my diagnosis of cancer and PTSD, I have focused on trying to help others with similar issues. I tend to be very open and easy to talk to, and maintain a very positive attitude, finding all of the positives in every situation. I also am a member of both the VFW, and American Legion.
After our marriage, we relocated back to my wife’s hometown of Cincinnati Ohio, and joined the local CVMA chapter here. I was hired on by the Cincinnati VA, and work in the logistics department (while my wife works at the VA as an RN) After one years’ time of living in Cincinnati, I took a position as the Public affairs officer of our CVMA chapter. It was at this time that I met Steve Gore from Chainsaws For Charities… after months of getting to know one another, helping each other out… here I am.
This organization is dedicated to PTSD. You don’t have to have been in the military to have it… EMS, Police, Firefighters, victims of assaults or even just witnessing a horrible crime or accident/death…. No one is immune to it. Come follow us here at Chainsaws For Charities and let’s begin the healing process together.
The rest of our story has yet to be written, but will change and advance on a daily basis… Stay tuned for more!
Your rearview mirror in your car is small for a reason… Your windshield is much larger… its because your future is bigger than your past!