Friends raise funds to help teacher injured in Covington building collapse

Posted at 5:30 AM, Oct 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-04 05:30:56-04

COVINGTON, Ky. -- Caution tape still surrounds a building on West Pike Street that partially collapsed Sept. 29, dumping bricks onto four women on the sidewalk below who were chaperoning a 20-student field trip.

One of those women was volunteer teacher Valeria McNamara, who remains in critical condition in the hospital. She teaches religion at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Burlington.

A message recently posted to the school's Facebook page says she had surgery on her spine and ankle. Her friends have set up a fund called "Valerie's Prayer Angels" at Fifth Third Bank to help with medical expenses. Visit any Fifth Third location to donate.

McNamara is in the hospital with brain trauma, and parishioners from Immaculate Heart of Mary held a 12-hour prayer service Saturday evening in honor of McNamara. Father Nicholas Rottman said members of the parish wanted to do all they could for her.

"They want to get together publicly and with each other because it reminds them that we're all in this together," Rottman told WCPO on Saturday.


Xavier University men's basketball head coach Chris Mack is helping to spread the word as well, tweeting out a photo of McNamara and her family Monday night.

The owner of the building has hired an engineering firm to further evaluate it after it was found unsafe for occupation.