Fundraiser benefits local non-profit destroyed in fire - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Fundraiser benefits local non-profit destroyed in fire

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Eau Claire (WQOW) – It has been just over two months since a downtown non-profit was destroyed in a fire.  But the REACH organization isn't wasting any time in taking steps to rebuild what was lost.

The scene at the Elk's Lodge today in Eau Claire was a much more hopeful one than the one two months ago at the former REACH building.

"The fundraiser today was offered to REACH by the Elk's Club.  There is going to be door prizes as well as silent auction items.  Lunch is being served, and all of the food was donated by the Elk's club," said REACH Program Coordinator Holly Ganong.  "And all of the proceeds will go to REACH Incorporated to help us recover from the fact that we lost everything in that fire that we are starting from the bottom and building back up again."

REACH serves people with disabilities to help get them jobs and live independently in the community.  After a couple of very trying months for the organization, today's benefit provided a much needed jolt of energy.

"The loss of the REACH building was devastating for everyone, members and staff," adds Ganong.  "A benefit like this really re-energizes us and gives us the understanding that the community supports us and that we need to keep going and doing the good that we do everyday."

There is still a long way to go to rebuild what has been lost, but the program is headed in the right direction.

"We just want to say thank you to everyone who has been willing to support us.  Donated items for the silent auction, and for the door prizes," adds Ganong.  "Their time, their energy, and we are just so grateful for our community believing in what we do and supporting the members that we serve everyday."

Right now REACH is running out of a temporary site and they say it will be at least a year before it can start to rebuild.

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