July 27, 2007
Angora Fire Fund Update
“Locals for Locals”
South Lake Tahoe, CA The flames that destroyed 254 homes and damaged many more have left a community scarred but working together to rebuild itself. Donations to the Angora Fire Fund thus far have reached $104,000 with approximately $160,000 more promised. The fund is being administered by a deeply committed group of local community leaders with representation from the following sectors; Faith based, Service Clubs, Accountant, City Attorney, El Dorado County, Large Business, Social Service Agencies, Small-Med Business, Education and the Chamber of Commerce.
“The fund was set up to receive and distribute funds locally so that clubs, corporations and individuals would have a place to put their donations without worrying about whether a large percentage of the contributions would be spent on administrative costs or end up elsewhere,” Board Member Wendy David said. The fund does not employ any staff nor does it pay for office space. The Board of eleven members has been meeting every Thursday afternoon for approximately three hours along with other sub-committees meeting in between in order to speed up the process.”
“To date the fund has given out $10,000 that was distributed by the Sierra Community Church last weekend,” added Board Member John Packer. “A second round of checks will be mailed on Friday July 27th. As we can only give away what we have received, and we must base those distributions on current assets and credible pledges the board has come up with what we believe is an equitable and prudent distribution system”
The Angora Fire Fund is currently accepting applications and distributing funds to fire survivors who lost their primary residence. Upon verification of residency funds are being distributed up to maximum of $1,000 per household to assist with immediate needs. Households that received $500 of the Locals for Locals money via the Sierra Community Church may be eligible to receive up to another $500 based upon their immediate needs. Those who have already submitted an application for long term needs are able to revise or resubmit for immediate needs. Fire survivors who have immediate needs must submit their applications for this round of funding prior to August 30th.
A second distribution round for more long term needs will then commence this autumn based upon available resources. A new application is not necessary to be considered for additional funds.
“We are optimistic that the fund will grow significantly for that second round based upon the fact that a number of organizations have made inquiry calls as to whether we would accept and distribute funds that they have raised or intend to raise at a variety of events,” David continued. We believe this category of giving will increase as these organizations recognize the inherent challenges of trying to establish criteria and distribute funds. Additionally, this would eliminate the need for families to be put in the position of having to fill out multiple applications on top of the myriad forms they are being forced to do for insurance claims and rebuilding. In order to help us really provide meaningful assistance well into the future we are encouraging those who have not yet made a donation to please consider donating to the Fund.”
Donations are being accepted to the Angora Fire Fund in the following ways: online at www.helptahoe.com ; in person at any US Bank or mail to the Angora Fire Fund (Locals for Locals) PO Box 17640, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96151.
“Thus far the bulk of our donations have come from individuals such as Dr. Mireya Ortega ($1,000) and those who contributed at Costco (over $8,000) and the Meyer’s Community Event (over $15,000) as well as corporate checks from companies such as Park Cattle Company ($10,000), South Tahoe Realtors Association ($5,000) Emerald Realty ($500) and Lakeshore Lodge & Spa ($500). This is only a minor sampling of the list as it is significant and we are unable to identify those who donated directly to US Bank. On behalf of the entire Board and all of the fire survivors we extend our heartfelt gratitude to those who have already given. Donors and fund information will be posted on the website by mid August. We have been very fortunate that Hanna Bernard of Highmark Designs responded to our request and is donating her time to building and updating the website in an effort to help keep the community informed.”
Applications for funding may be picked up at either the California or Nevada Visitor Centers or at any Board Member’s Business. Board Members are listed on www.helptahoe.com and the application is also available on the website. Applications can be mailed to the PO Box or given to any Board Member in a sealed envelope. Information about the specific applicants is considered confidential and will not be made public.
For further information please visit the website or contact any of the board members.