Cleaning & Restoration Association News

Editorial Comment: United We Stand, Divided We Fall

This month’s column is quite different from those written previously. This one carries with it a heavy heart and exudes a tone of helplessness—helplessness in the sense of bad things happening to good people. However, I believe there is a reason for everything—one that has been predetermined by a higher spirit.

Within a couple of weeks of each other, ICS’ family was saddened and full of grief with the news of Kim Costa’s passing, and fellow cleaner Gary Berg’s unexpected start of a turbulent battle with cancer. Yes, I know that sometimes life just isn’t fair.

KIMBERLY JOY COSTA, 19, passed away with her parents Barry and Carol Costa and brother Adam by her side. As many of you know, Kim fought her battle with cancer for many years. Her attitude about fighting the disease served as inspiration to all who knew her personally, or knew of her. May she now rest in peace.

GARY BERG, owner/operator of American Beauty Carpet Care Systems in Litchfield, Minn., was recently diagnosed with cancer. Doctors have told him that his pneumonia was caused by a cancerous mass in his left lung near the bronchial tube. The cancer spread to his brain where he now has five aggressively metastasizing masses. All are inoperable and neither chemotherapy nor radiation have been planned at this time. His angel and caregiver, Cindy, will soon take him home and care for him in comfortable and familiar surroundings. But they need our help.

Although I have never met Gary, I “know” him through his numerous and valuable posts on ICS’ bulletin board as he freely offered volumes of information to help his peers succeed. Even if you have never logged on to the bulletin board, and no nothing of Gary Berg or his plight, find it in your heart to help a fellow human being and colleague. We must all pool our resources to help each other when the need arises.

A few of the many tasks his peers have taken upon themselves in honoring their friend and colleague are: contributing revenues from their “Cleaning for Gary” day; keeping Gary’s business afloat by keeping appointments for him; donating a percentage of their one-day income to Gary’s health fund; writing letters to the local newspaper and explaining Gary’s plight; sending comfort items such black, silk pajamas; fronting the funds necessary for a three-month supply of Essiac; conducting a phone-in teleconference on marketing with proceeds going to Gary’s fund; free fabric protector from a manufacturer on the stipulation that revenue gained from fabric protector jobs will go to Gary’s fund; conducting research on several herbal therapies; and so much more.

If you want to help in this time of crisis, then please send contributions to: ADDRESS TO WELLS-FARGO TK, Litchfield, MN. Any amount sent will go a long way in helping with the expenses related to home health care.

Additionally, the theme for “SummerFest 2000,” an annual informal gathering of cleaners who utilize various cleaning methods and equipment, reflects Gary’s personal motto of “Breathe a Little Love.” The three-day event, slated for Sept. 29-Oct 1 in Atlanta, will feature product and equipment demonstrations, roundtable sessions, a mill tour, and more. For additional information on this event, log onto ICS’ bulletin board at, and search for “SummerFest” information.

And finally, prior to learning of Gary’s deteriorating health, Jackson Lloyd started a fund for carpet cleaners in honor of his late father and his favorite saying in difficult times. The Jack P. Lloyd “It’s Not Fatal” Memorial Fund’s purpose is to help carpet cleaners and their families with any emergency situation. If you would like to contribute to this fund, then please make your check payable to: INF Memorial, c/o Marty Sutley, 742 Memorial Dr., Prattville, AL 36067.

I wish you all peace, and as a very good friend of mine always says, “Let your conscience be your guide.”

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