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ROTARY SEEKS ASSISTANCE FOR FIRE VICTIMS

Staff Report

Assistance for fire victims in the Northern California area devastated by recent fires is being requested by Rotary District 5130 to help victims.

Donations can be made online or via mail-in check to the Lake Area Rotary Club Association (LARCA) Fire Relief Fund, which is helping fire victims of the devastating fires in Lake, Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino Counties.  LARCA is a 501(c)3 organization, and donations are tax deductible.

“Thousands of Californians have been left homeless by these most destructive and deadly fires in our state’s history,” says La Mirada Rotary Club President Zurich Lewis.  “The Rotary Fire Relief Fund offers an excellent way to provide financial help to our fellow Californians in need.”

As of Monday, October 16, some 11,000 firefighters continued to make progress on 14 large wildfires burning across the State, despite the fact that several new fires had ignited. At that time, 14 large wildfires had burned over 213,000 acres and destroyed an estimated 5,700 structures.  Reports indicted that 41 people have been killed, and numerous others remained missing.

As containment figures have increased, many of the evacuation orders across the fires in Northern California were lifted. However, more than 40,000 people remained evacuated at the start of the week.

The Rotary Fire Relief Fund is designed to provide help in the most efficient and effective way to those devastated by the wildfires in Lake County and neighboring Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino Counties.

The Rotary Clubs in these areas are working together to bring a combination of organization, fund raising, volunteers and cooperation with other organizations to help fire victims in the immediate and long term.

The 501(c)3 organization was formed after Lake County’s earlier major fire in October 2015, and raised nearly $1,000,000 for relief in less than two years.  The fund has operated with nearly zero administrative overhead.

Due to the massive fire destruction in October 2017, the decision was made to use the existing LARCA Fire Relief Fund framework to seek additional donations and immediately funnel badly needed emergency assistance to fire victims in the four counties covered by Rotary District 5130. A committee comprised of Rotarians from each of the 4 counties will administer the direct deployment of these funds.

The primary goal of the LARCA Fire Relief Fund is to provide immediate help to families and businesses (including agriculture) to get them resettled in at least temporary housing for families and establishments for businesses by filling in gaps of support not provided by other entities.   The non-profit organization will also continue fund raising sufficient to carry out its efforts on a continuing basis and to inform donors of the work their donations made possible.

Donations can be made to the Lake Area Rotary Club Association (LARCA) c/o Rotary 5130 Fire Relief Fund, P.O. Box 2921, Clearlake, CA 95422.  Donations may also be made online at www.larca5130.org.  The non profit organization’s tax ID# 46-1149482.  Questions may be emailed to [email protected].

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