Benefit rakes in $25K for fire victims

Saturday concert set to raise still more
By: Gus Thomson Journal Staff Writer
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Auburn’s disaster fund to help victims of the 49 Fire has passed $25,000 following Sunday’s Benefit in the Park. And another benefit slated for Saturday means more dollars will soon be in the hands of those in need. Organizers from the music benefit at Regional Park counted $6,500 in personal contributions during the afternoon-long event with more money still to be tallied from food booths. That’s on top of more than $19,000 already raised since the Aug. 30 fire, said Steve Galyardt of Community 1st Bank, Auburn Disaster Relief Fund steering committee member. Auburn-area residents will have a second chance to support fire victims at a benefit by another group of concerned residents this coming Saturday, with local entertainers taking the stage at the Library Garden Amphitheater. A total of 63 houses were destroyed in the fire and community groups, businesses and organizations have been generous in their support to victims. Sunday’s benefit represented a broad-based coalition of groups working together to raise money for the newly established disaster fund. The Auburn Disaster Relief Fund will be distributing money on a priority basis, with recommendations coming from the Salvation Army, Red Cross and Methodist church crisis team. A board of community leaders is being formed to make decisions on how to give out the money. Galyardt said the steering committee is hoping to continue to increase the fund. Saturday’s fundraising 49 Fire Benefit Concert will take place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. As was the case Sunday, entertainers are performing free of charge. While admission is free, audience members will be asked for a donation. All 49 Fire Benefit Concert proceeds will go directly to the victims, through the Red Cross and Salvation Army. Ralph Burnett, whose Bluebird Productions is working with Renee Berg of Sky Dog Entertainment and Travis Wright of Speak With Love on the project, said organizers have also enlisted the help of Bayside Auburn Church to ensure donations are tax-deductible. “The focus is beyond raising money,” Burnett said. “It’s letting the community speak with one voice to give hope through love and healing.” The lineup for the concert includes Foxtrot Mary, Analog Jazz, Mildrid, the Forest Lake Christian School Choir, Shay Dillon Band and The Pyronauts. There will be food and beverage concessions, a charity silent auction and the venue will serve as a day-long Salvation Army donation drop point. -------------------------- 49 Fire Benefit Concert When: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26 Where: Library Garden Amphitheater, next to the Auburn Library, 350 Nevada St.