BILLINGS – At the end of March, Billings resident Tom Paxinos fell 40 feet after he chased his dog atop the Rimrocks.
Paxinos is a local realtor, member of Projectile Comedy, and star of the recent film, “Blood Hunter.”
He was also very recently one of Q2’s volunteers for the St. Jude telethon.
Now, the community has come together to give back to him during this hard time.
“Our good friend Tom took a tumble last week, 40 feet, and has a traumatic brain injury,” Julie Seedhouse, a friend of Paxinos, said.
Paxinos is in the hospital still, taking it day by day.
“So even if Tom checks out of the hospital today, with a clean bill of health, that’s when a long road to recovery will happen and so there’s a lot of unknowns,” said Schuyler Budde, also a friend.
“He’s so loved and has such a community of people that have come together to do what we can to help him while he heals,” said Seedhouse.
It seems everyone wants to help.
“The number of people that he has touched through his different jobs and involvement in the community, people feel ownership of him, like he’s “Our Tom,” she said. “Everybody feels that he’s their Tom because he’s just one of those people that is so engaged with everyone he meets and he makes them feel so special.”
The community being coined as “Tom’s Village” has rallied around him with comedy shows, benefits and raffles.
“He’d be doing best for us, so we are obviously doing the best for him. All these donations will really cover the unknowns and uncertainties of what’s going to happen, as far as recovering from this,” Budde said.
Even people who have never met him are stepping up to help.
“He fills the room, his energy and his light fills the room when he comes in. You fall in love with him on sight,” Seedhouse said.
As a member of projectile Comedy, laughter is a huge part of Tom’s life, so there is no reason that should stop while he heals.
“He would be so mad at us if he thought we were sitting around and not doing anything. He would be so mad. So the fact is that we make inappropriate jokes, and none of it is going to be high brow comedy by any means,” Seedhouse said.
“Chas Llewelyn said it best,” she added. “He said I want him to wake up and when he sees everything that has happened and the photos and the comedy and all of it, he’ll say NICE!”
In the meantime, “Tom’s Village” has got his back.
“Working at Century 21, he’s built a name for himself, he’s got a great base of clients that trust him,” coworker and friend Laurie Patterson said.
“My son and his fiance actually bought a house with Tom’s help. He was their realtor. They developed such a bond during the process that my kid asked him to be the officiant at his wedding this summer. And we’re bound and determined to make sure that he makes that happen. My kids won’t have it any other way. That speaks to the fact that you fall in love with Tom the first time you meet him and there’s no getting out of it, he’s in your life forever,” Patterson said.
Some events to benefit Tom:
- Share the Love April: Local Kitchen and Bar, Monday, April 7 at 4 p.m.
- Story Time for Tom: Monday, April 7 from 4 to 10 p.m. at Blaze Pizza
- To Raise a Tom: Wednesday, May 15 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the High Horse Saloon
Haircuts for Tom: Sunday, May 5 from 12 to 5 p.m. at Bishop’s
Venmo donations are being collected for out of state friends and family at Venmo@tompaxinos
Donations can also be dropped off at Yellowstone Bank
If you have a silent auction item you would like to donate, it can be dropped off at Century 21 at 1605 Shiloh.