Kelsey Gibson

As an organization, we are known for digging deep into our pockets and reaching out to those less fortunate and in need when a tragedy strikes.

Michigan State Legislative Director Jerry L. Gibson and his family have been dealing with a tough issue of their own and Assistant State Legislative Director Don Silseth is asking SMART members to consider participating in the first Kelsey Gibson Benefit golf outing, dinner and auction.

Gibson’s daughter, Kelsey, was involved in a horrific car accident in January 2013. She was 21 at the time. Her life hung in the balance for weeks, but she endured.

 Kelsey remains in a wheelchair and receives near daily therapy. She is totally dependent on others, yet Silseth says she is 100 percent cognizant.

There has been encouraging research in treatments that could be of great benefit to Kelsey, however, the estimated $160,000 to $220,000 cost is not covered by insurance.

A group of union brothers and sisters from within this organization and others have formed a committee to assist the Gibson family, Silseth said.

The committee is seeking golf participants as well as sponsors, and donations are appreciated. For complete details, visit There are participant registration forms and sponsorship information.

The Kelsey Gibson Benefit will be held Saturday, June 20, at The Pines Gold Course in Wyoming, Mich.

“It is my hope that we can line the fairways with SMART union signs from across the United States and Canada. With strong fraternal support, we can begin to move this treatment from hopes and dreams to reality,” Silseth said.

“I am proud and fortunate to have Jerry Gibson as a fellow member of SMART Transportation Division Local 313 (Grand Rapids, Mich.). He is all union, all the time, and he never gives up on our issues. If you ever asked Jerry for help, I’m sure you received it. He won’t ask this of you, but I will. Please help if you can.”

Gibson, Kelsey2_webKelsey Gibson, daughter of Michigan State Legislative Director Jerry Gibson, was in a near-fatal accident in January 2013 when she was broadsided by a pickup truck in heavy fog. Kelsey’s injuries were extensive and included a long hospitalization. It was reported in May 2013 that Kelsey was awake, but she had a long road to recovery. Today, she continues her battle with countless rehabilitation sessions.
Friends of the Gibson family have started a gun raffle to help raise money to assist Kelsey with her rehabilitation efforts. For $20 per ticket, participants have a chance to win a new Remington Model 870 Express. This 12-gauge pump gun has twin action bars to prevent binding and twisting.
The winner will be drawn when 200 tickets are sold or on Jan. 1, 2015. To purchase tickets, contact Bud Morse at (419) 619-9161, Scott Hockin at (616) 293-9918, Don Silseth at (616) 443-2613 or Jerry Gibson at (616) 308-6381. Checks can be made payable to “FBO Kelsey Gibson.”

Kelsey Gibson, 21, daughter of Michigan State Legislative Jerry Gibson and his wife Carmella, was seriously injured the morning of Jan. 29 in an automobile accident. 

Kelsey, a student at Grand Valley State University and recently engaged to be married, was driving a Ford Escape when she was broadsided by a pickup truck in heavy fog. She remains hospitalized and in a coma. 

A fund for the Gibson family has been established at FifthThird Bank. Send donations to: Stephanie Hickox, FifthThird Bank, 3980 Alpine Ave., Comstock Park, MI 49321. Make the check payable to “FBO Kelsey Gibson.” On the memo line put “#7168002785.” 

Donations can be made at all FifthThird Banks nationwide. Visit any FifthThird Bank and ask to make a deposit into account #7168002785, FBO Kelsey Gibson. 

“The doctors have told Jerry and Carmella that Kelsey is in for a long fight. That’s a lot of missed work and family expenses to be met,” said Don Silseth, UTU Local 313 treasurer and legislative representative. “If you can donate one day of pay, great. If you can donate a half day of pay, great. If you can donate one hour of pay, great. If you can offer continued prayers, great. It’s all needed and appreciated.”

To check on Kelsey’s progress, visit and clock on Enter “Kelseygibson” in the search box. You will have to register with first.