Anyone who has ever spent time on the south Florida circuit or in the New England area knows and loves the husband and wife team of Jim and Terry Toomey. The owners of Paradise Cafe, and Terry’s boutique, Cowgirls in the Sand, have been a part of our world as long as I can remember. Paradise Cafe have been the caterers for our annual “Inspection Reception” at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby, and in 2009 when we turned it into a fundraiser to Equestrian Aid, they graciously donated their services at cost. When Terry found out quite by accident she had lung cancer over two years ago, she attacked it with a vengeance, positive attitude, and humor.
The first time Jim picked her up at the airport after a brutal round of chemo, she stepped into the lobby with a purple wig. That’s our Terry! Terry’s not feeling so great these days, and we are asking our readers, those who know her and those who don’t to send her some love.
Terry’s whimsical taste in clothing has always been my style, and each year I manage to get at least one outfit or hat, and whatever I bought, never sat idle in my closet. Jim and Terry Toomey are not just business owners , but friends and fun to any and everyone who knows them. Having them at a show adds another dimension of not only great food and style, but someone to hug, gossip with, and drink a bottle of wine together at the end of a sweaty day.
When Terry discovered quite by accident she had developed lung cancer, she went to work. She researched all her options, went the traditional route, and holistic route, and for the past two winter seasons worked with a passion expanding their shops in the new Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, as well as continuing to be the caterers and food providers at the Palm Beach Derby Series of events. She flew back and forth to New England for chemo treatments. She openly shared her discoveries with friends and fellow cancer survivors. She stopped bleaching her platinum blond hair, and lo and behold when her gray hair grew in she was just as glam as she always was. Terry’s illness became a part of her life, but it did not define her, and she continued to always be Terry.
Jim confided in me last winter he wanted to slow down this summer, and force Terry to do so as well, so she could hang out with friends and family and concentrate on healing. We just got an e-mail from Nancy Later that she’s not feeling so great these days, so let’s all send her a card, prayers, and love. It always works.
Terry and Jim Toomey
887 Homestead Ave.
Holyoke, MA 01040