In the midst of the Rockport 5 fire, residents from many different communities pulled together to support those who had lost their homes in any way they could. Organizations and businesses such as Rafter B Gas N' Grub in Wanship and the Park City Christian Center have been crucial in these efforts.
Kim Alderman, owner of Rafter B Gas N' Grub, said that since her business was so close to the fire and the nearby road closure it became a gathering place and a source for information. Alderman said that one of her employees, Chrissy Rasmussen, was the first to lose her home. That's when she decided to start a fundraiser.
"We weren't sure about anyone else's home. Later more homes we found out were being lost, so we decided we could do some sort of fundraiser for all the families," Alderman said.
Rafter B held its fundraiser on Saturday, Aug. 17, and Alderman says they are not sure how much money they have raised yet as they are still in the midst of the effort.
Alderman said that an evacuee who stayed at her house during the fire donated 300 turkey legs for the fundraiser. Another individual who resided in Bridge Hollow also donated 150 chicken quarters and Trever Johnson, current Coalville mayoral candidate, donated pork for sandwiches.
Another fundraiser for the Rasmussen family also took place last Thursday during a junior league football game at Coalville High School. This Saturday, Aug. 24, there will be another game held at 4 p.m. where the total amount raised for the Rasmussens will be announced.
Rafter B will also hold another fundraiser on Labor Day weekend where they will be selling the remainder of their food. Alderman says they have research to do on all eight families affected by the fire before they determine where to allocate their money. She says she has been profoundly affected by the whole experience.
"It's definitely humbled me. I've learned to stop and listen," Alderman said. "This community has come together to the extent that I didn't know a community could and I've been here for 20 years."
The Christian Center of Park City, meanwhile, has been offering food, clothing, furniture and household goods to those affected by the fire. Lucy McIntire from the Center says that, unfortunately, not many people have been utilizing the group's services.
"We've only helped a few families we haven't gotten that many calls yet," McIntire said. "We're more than happy to continue to help people. We can give them emergency assistance for the items we are able to house here."
McIntire said they were able to help a woman in need with her pet, which they did in collaboration with the White Pine Veterinary Clinic. She says she has been amazed with the response from all those who helped in both the relief and firefighting efforts.
"There are a lot of grateful people out there who have received help or have been pointed in the right direction for help," McIntire said. "Between trying to save homes, lives and livestock and pets, I have heard nothing but great things about all the agencies involved. My hat is off to everybody."
Residents of Promontory focused their attention on supporting the volunteer North and South Summit Fire Districts. Promontory Membership Director Beth Armstrong said the Promontory Foundation was taking $10,000 out of its fund to give to local firefighter charities such as these.
"Because [the Promontory Foundation] is supporting the Park City Firemen's Fund, we have our members concentrate on the North and South Summit Fire Districts," Armstrong said. "I gave [members] information on how they could mail a donation in. I had about 100 replies saying they will be sending a check to one of the agencies."
Donating to the Red Cross is also a great option at any time, Armstrong said.
"If you give money to them (the Red Cross) and it is no longer needed in this area, it's still going to people in need."
Armstrong said she really pushed donating to the North and South Summit Fire Districts because of their "shoestring budgets." She was impressed with the efforts of the firefighters and Sheriff's officers in their community.
"It was such an overwhelming display of working together and community from the firemen to the Sheriff's Department that came in and did the evacuation," Armstrong said. "They not only kept us out but kept everybody else out."
Rafter B Gas N' Grub is located at 2246 State Road 32 just off the Wanship exit on Interstate 80. For more information on their fundraising event, call 435-336-2632. The Park City Christian Center is located at 1283 Deer Valley Drive in Park City. Residents looking for aid can call them at 435-649-2260.