Holiday Party for Angora Victims and Community

Many of us are no doubt planning to return home for the holidays. But for those who lost their homes in the Angora wildfire, that's not possible. Sunday, the community helped to brighten the holidays for those who lost everything.

"It's a whole new different house, whole new different neighborhood... It's taking time to get used to," Jesse Burmeister said.

Tedei Matheny, Haley Crowson and Jesse Burmeister, opened gifts donated for a special holiday party to help Angora victims.

"Well I got a doll and a stuffed penguin and a book," Crowson said.

The family says their home was uninhabitable after the fire and their dog was killed. The tragedy is a bond they share with so many others.

"Kids, families getting together and kinda getting back up and on their feet," Aaron Herne, who says he hopes to re-build, said.

Gift certificates were raffled off, a fire truck decked out for the season stood watch out front, and fire line tape marked a pile of presents for people who lost so much.

"That's what's happening, people see you and they're offering you money, they're offering you decorations... It's amazing," a woman who lost her home said.

The festivities took place at the Community Care Center in South Lake Tahoe where donations for the victims have been stored.
Months later, those whose lives changed forever in June, haven't been forgotten and an organizer says they never will be -- A disaster resource board promises continuing help.

"We on the board will be around for 18 to 24 months helping everyone from the Angora fire," Pamela Bettencourt said.

Thanks to people's generosity, some of the youngest affected by of the fire are now smiling -- and even though there's been loss, victims of the fire are thankful.

"If you think of what Christmas is all about, it's more about your family and friends, snow and... having fun and being happy."


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