Community

Communities pitch in to help Oso victims

Tulalip Cabela’s outfitters Sarah Turnbull, left, and Caleb Hussong prepare hot dogs for attendees of the store’s barbecue fundraiser on March 29. - Kirk Boxleitner
Tulalip Cabela’s outfitters Sarah Turnbull, left, and Caleb Hussong prepare hot dogs for attendees of the store’s barbecue fundraiser on March 29.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

The Arlington and Marysville communities have continued to show their support for the survivors of the Oso mudslide through a series of local fundraising events throughout the week.

Katie Sanford, marketing manager for the Tulalip Cabela’s, explained that she’d set a fundraising goal of $5,000 for the store’s three-day barbecue from Friday, March 28, through Sunday, March 30, but found that they’d met that mark within the first two hours of the first day.

“That Friday, we probably served about 1,100 hot dogs, but we had at least 1,200 attendees, since multiple people just chipped in without even getting any meals,” Sanford said. “By the end of that day, we’d raised around $8,500. On Saturday, we made almost that much within the first hour. Drivelines NW employees donated $2,600 to us on Friday, and an anonymous good Samaritan handed us an envelope with $3,000 in cash on Saturday.”

Sanford credited the Arlington Co-op Supply, Haggen, Hempler’s, US Foods, Walmart, Pepsi and the Tulalip Resort with contributing to their fundraiser, and noted that she’s since been contacted by other Cabela’s stores, asking how they can pitch in with similar fundraisers of their own. The Tulalip Cabela’s proceeds will go toward the American Red Cross of Snohomish County.

Saturday, March 29, also saw Sound Harley-Davidson of Smokey Point and its Puget Sound Harley Owners Group conducting a barbecue fundraiser for Red Cross Disaster Relief, which event organizers estimated drew close to 600 attendees and generated more than $3,000.

“We actually ran out of hot dogs, and had to go out for more,” said George Fair, assistant director of the Puget Sound Harley Owners Group. “We’ve never run out of hot dogs at one of our barbecue fundraisers before. That’s an exceptional showing, especially considering the day’s lousy weather. The Sound Harley-Davidson parking lot stayed full for hours.”

“We’re part of this area,” said Jim Coate, last year’s director of the Puget Sound Harley Owners Group. “I don’t believe any of our members were caught out in the mudslide, but these are our friends and neighbors too.”

“Our family is out there, and many are still missing,” said Kari Korsgren, marketing and events manager for Sound Harley-Davidson. “The Harley-Davidson community is a strong group of people who share many things as riders, but their strongest attribute is giving. Riders give to communities, to friends, to children and to all sorts of organizations, big and small. We are one person when disaster strikes, and individuals every day after.”

Community Thrift in Arlington donated 100 percent of its sale proceeds from March 29 to the Northwest Relief Fund for Oso mudslide survivors.

“Our usual number of customers for a Saturday is about 75,” said Patti Metz, co-manager of Community Thrift. “On March 29, we must have gotten close to 200 people, and if they weren’t buying, they were giving cash. Our cash donations alone added up to about $1,000, and I’d estimate that our business revenues for the day came close to $1,000 as well.”

Metz explained that the store will continue to make clothing, bedding and household items available to those impacted by the mudslide, at low or no cost.

“Probably half of our customer base came from Oso and Darrington,” said Metz, who became briefly emotional as she spoke. “We’ve lost customers, friends and even coworkers.”

Community Thrift is still accepting donations of cash, clothing and household goods from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Thursdays, at 604 E. Gilman Ave. in Arlington.

Kellogg Marsh Elementary not only kicked off a week-long coin drive starting on Monday, March 31, but also took advantage of the traffic drawn by its evening conferences on Wednesday, April 2, to stage a spaghetti feed fundraiser.

Kellogg Marsh fourth-grade teacher Bobbie Mooring praised Olive Garden, Alfy’s, the Grocery Outlet, Safeway and Fred Meyer for supplying the spaghetti, salad, breadsticks, pizza, water, soda and plates, for a cafeteria crowd that had already reached 50 by its first half-hour.

“My classroom also wanted to make beaded art to sell, from bracelets to geckos,” said Mooring, who also credited the school’s students with collecting hundreds of coins throughout the week. “It’s pretty amazing to watch these kids get excited about being able to contribute in their own ways.”

The proceeds from the Kellogg Marsh coin drive and spaghetti feed will go toward the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation’s Oso mudslide disaster relief fund.

Among the other businesses, service organizations and community groups that have contributed to mudslide relief efforts, Friday, March 28, saw the 12 Kiwanis Clubs of Snohomish County collectively donating $6,000 to the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation, while the Everett Silvertips’ home playoff game that night raised a total of $5,120 in donations for the Disaster Recovery Fund for Mudslide Relief, established by the United Way of Snohomish County. The Kiwanis Clubs included Arlington, Edmonds, Everett, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Monroe, Mukilteo, Silver Lake, Snohomish, Tillicum and Stanwood, while the Silvertips’ game donations were collected through a combination of ticket sales via a special online link, a pre-game Thunderbirds car smash in front of Comcast Arena, and cash donations at their guest services booth during the game itself.

While UFCW 21 sent a $5,000 donation to the Red Cross, Bartell Drugs has pledged to match $10,000 in customer contributions, to donate to the Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services. Walgreens is not only making a $25,000 contribution to the Red Cross’ Oso mudslide relief fund, but will also provide customers with the opportunity to make donations to the relief fund, in increments of $1, $5 or $10.

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation is providing $50,000 for short and long-term disaster relief, including $25,000 to the Red Cross, $10,000 to the Arlington Community Food Bank to provide support for victims of the mudslide, and $15,000 for addressing longer-term needs. Those wishing to contribute to the Arlington Community Food Bank may do so at any Bank of America by using the account name “Arlington Community Food Bank Oso Mudslide Disaster Fund,” and Bank of America customers who have been affected by the mudslide can call 1-800-432-1000.

A week after the United Way of Snohomish County established its Disaster Recovery Fund for Mudslide Relief, $1.32 million was collected and $525,000 is being distributed to support the families and community service organizations affected by the disaster.

Specifically, $400,000 is going directly to families for immediate recovery needs, such as temporary housing, child care, food, gas cards, commuting costs and support for local volunteer responders. Of this family support funding, $200,000 will be handled by North Counties’ Family Services — formerly the Darrington Family Support Center — for approximately 200 families from Darrington whose lives have been severely disrupted by the mudslide, while the remaining $200,000 will go to an Arlington-based family support center, which will be housed at the Arlington Community Food Bank for the approximately 40 Oso families who have lost their loved ones and their homes.

Up to $125,000 will go to directly support the community groups being called on to do so much during this difficult time, of which $25,000 will support North Counties’ Family Services, so they can expand the work they are doing, and $100,000 will support the new family support center in Arlington.

On March 31, United Way gave $3,000 to Green Cross, a community service organization, to support their disaster mental health work, and $3,000 to Catholic Community Services to provide gas cards to the community.

Individuals and organizations interested in contributing to the fund can find more information on United Way’s website at http://uwsc.org, or you can text OSO to 37284 to donate any amount to the recovery fund.

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