• Donations flowing for families who lost everything in fires
    By Darren Marcy
    Staff Writer | December 29,2013
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    Two local families recovering from catastrophic fires this past week are getting community support — but their need persists.

    Neither family had insurance.

    In Chittenden, Lynn Cole, her fiance Mason Wardwell, and her 4-year-old son Chase lost their home and possessions to a Christmas Day fire.

    Saturday, volunteers delivered a van full of clothing, toys, personal-care items and other donations to the family. The contributions were collected at the Wooden Barrel Country Store in Chittenden.

    Earlier Saturday, Santa again came through, bringing toys to Chase courtesy of Jeremy Griffin and Tanya Hier of the Toy Factory at the Diamond Run Mall.

    Friday night, fans at the Rutland-Middlebury hockey game dug into their pockets and contributed $435 for the family in a 50/50 raffle.

    Two students won the raffle but gave the money back.

    Chase was honorary captain for the night and got to spend some time with the team.

    Volunteer organizers say money remains the prime need for Cole and Wardwell, and gift cards or gift certificates at local stores, or gas cards, would be very useful.

    Contributions are still accepted at the Wooden Barrel, or they can be mailed to: CVFD Disaster Relief Fund, Attn: Jan Sotirakis, 266 Chittenden Road, Chittenden, VT 05737.

    The family has received so many donations so far that clothes and toys are no longer an issue, and they were able to send eight bags of items they didn’t need to the other family that lost everything in a fire Friday morning.

    Those bags were brought to the Castleton Village Store to be distributed to Chandra Savage and her three children, Malik, Makieya and Maisha Henrickson, whose mobile home burned Friday morning, also destroying the family’s possessions.

    An online fundraiser at www.gofundme.com/5xdpfg had raised $3,585 for Savage and her children as of Saturday afternoon, some 30 hours after the fire struck. Sixty donors had given cash gifts through the site.

    Also announced Saturday was a fundraising event Jan. 25.

    Lisa Thayer and Marcy Goyette have announced they will hold a basket raffle that day, followed by a spaghetti dinner and dance in the evening.

    The Castleton American Legion donated its space for the event and the owners of the Trak-In Steakhouse in Bomoseen are donating spaghetti and meatballs for the dinner.

    The women are still looking for help in putting on the event.

    Thayer said her phone hasn’t stopped ringing with offers of assistance and donations.

    “What a wonderful community we live in,” Thayer said.


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