Laporte Fire victims receive donation from Rotary District 5180

Oroville, Calif.-- Wildfires that destroyed several homes in Butte County last year may be a distant memory for many, but for the families affected, it's a daily struggle to rebuild. On Wednesday night families affected by the Laporte Fire were given financial donations by one organization in Oroville.

Posted: Jan. 3, 2018 10:19 PM

Oroville, Calif.-- Wildfires that destroyed several homes in Butte County last year may be a distant memory for many, but for the families affected, it's a daily struggle to rebuild.

On Wednesday night families affected by the Laporte Fire were given financial donations by one organization in Oroville.

Members of the Rotary District 5180 donated about $20,0000 to those fire victims.

You may recall the Laporte fire burned more than 61-hundred acres and was part of the wind-complex fire which destroyed about 400 structures.

When the Laporte fire started back in October, 17-year-old Kaliecia Reiley and her 11-year-old brother were woken up in the middle of the night by their mom.

"It was kind of a blur, but seeing the smoke and the flames and all that was traumatizing but we ended up getting out safely and unfortunately we did lose a dog, so that was pretty sad, we lost all our memories and all the pictures...Everything that can't be replaced," she said.

Her family was one of four Butte County families to receive a donation from the Rotary District 5180.

"My mom's been struggling a lot to find money for things. It's been hard for us, my little brother lost a lot of things, and I lost a lot of things. We're sticking together. Most people break up in tragedies but we're coming together," Reiley said.

The district is made up of 41 clubs from the Sacramento area, as well as Butte, Yuba and Sutter counties.

All of its members contributed their own money to help families like Reiley's.

"It's a very normal activity for us to write a check to support some sort of recovery. Our slogan is service above self and we're always trying to help people in our communities," said Shelton Enochs, assistant governor of the district.

Brenda Rightmyer is the ombudsman for Butte County, meaning she's worked with several fire victims, and she created the profiles for these families and presented them to the district for consideration.

"It's their will to want to go forward and just needing the support along the way....You see it, and you know it's needed and it's really difficult for these families to even ask,” Rightmyer said.

Reiley said all she can say to members of district 51-80 is "thank you so much. It's hard to put into words how grateful we are, it just gives hope that people are able to contribute to those who have lost things because when it happens you think there's no going back and it's nice to know there's people who are able to contribute to us and make us feel a little bit better about the situation."

District 51-80 also donated to four Yuba County families that were also affected by the fire, but they did not attend today's event.

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