Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley
Editorial@lhvc.com 

Niwot Rotary accepting donations for Paradise relief

 

December 28, 2018

Courtesy Photo

The Rotary Club of Paradise California is seeking donations on behalf of area families and firsts responders affected by wildfires in November.

Niwot Rotary treasurer Jo Kirkenaer is no stranger to natural disasters, so when he learned about the wildfire that devastated a northern California community in early November, he wanted to find a way to help.

“I lived in southern California, and I’ve been through two big fires in San Diego, so I know what it’s like,” he said, adding that he also had close ties to Lyons during the 2013 Boulder County flood. “I can really empathize with what they’re going through.”

In the early morning hours of Nov. 8, a small fire started by downed power lines outside of Paradise, CA, quickly raged out of control due to low humidity and high winds. By the time it was fully contained on Nov. 25, 86 people were dead and more than 18,000 structures had been destroyed, including five public schools, a hospital, and almost all of the area’s business district.

“It’s such a terrible, terrible thing that has happened there,” he said. “The whole beautiful town of Paradise is basically gone. There’s nothing left.”

Earlier this month, Kirkenaer reached out to the Rotary Club of Paradise to offer Niwot’s assistance, an offer that was gratefully accepted.

“We’re starting small here, just getting exposure to them and taking donations,” Kirkenauer said. “But we are doing things like this in the community when there are disasters like this.”

Kirkenaer said that displaced families in the area are most in need of monetary donations during the rebuilding process, to help them make ends meet while finding new jobs and living in temporary housing. Since most of the housing in Paradise was destroyed, however, thousands of families will need long term support, as nearly all of the homes in the area were destroyed. “Any donation from five dollars up to five thousand dollars would be gladly appreciated.”

“The people in Paradise want to go back to Paradise, there’s no doubt about that,” he continued. “Just like the people in Lyons wanted to go back to Lyons after the flood.”

The Rotary Club of Niwot is accepting check donations on behalf of the Paradise Club. Please mail a check to Paradise Rotary, C/O Niwot Rotary, PO Box 20, Niwot, CO 80544. If you wish to donate by credit card, visit http://www.paradiserotary.org for a link to their Go-Fund-Me page.

 

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