Donation buckets, fund collections, pot luck and St. Patrick’s event to help victims of two Chester fires

©2015 The Chester Telegraph

If you know of more fund-raising efforts, please email and we’ll add them to the list.
Donation buckets have been placed at Lisai’s Chester Market, Jiffy Mart, Heritage Deli, Country Girl Diner, the Sunoco and Chester Hardware to collect money for victims of the two recent fires that displaced the LaVallees, the Moniers and Andrew Ojanen, who rented from the Moniers. The seven lost all their possessions to these fires, while the Moniers also lost several pets.

Firefighters from Ludlow help put out last Friday's fire at Elm Street in Chester. Photo by Shawn Cunningham.

Firefighters from Ludlow help put out last Friday’s fire at Elm Street in Chester. Photo by Shawn Cunningham.

Cindy Cole, who is in charge of the collection effort, praised the Opportunities in Learning students at Green Mountain Union High, who she said initiated the bucket brigade by placing three out over the weekend and in that short time collected almost $200.  Her effort grew naturally at the same time and she and the Opportunities kids merged efforts. She added that donors can direct their funds to a specific person or family by writing their designee on a check or envelope, or they can donate to a general fund that will be divided among the fire victims.

Two GoFundMe sites have been set up to help the LaVallees and the Moniers. You can donate to the LaVallees here. And you can donate to the Moniers here. No specific aid fund has been set up to help Ojanen with his losses.

Paul Benson Sr., of the Chester American Legion Post 67, said Tuesday that the Veterans Assistance Program is available to Ojanen, a Vietnam War era veteran and a member of the legion. He added that the legion will be happy to accept checks to benefit Ojanen. Donors can drop them off at the legion,  637 Route 103 East.

From 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, March 16, there will be a potluck event featuring local restaurants to help raise funds for the victims of the Elm Street and First Avenue fires.  The event will be held at the Pizza Stone on Pleasant Street in Chester.  Suggested donation is $25 per family.  And live music will also be provided.

From 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, the Stone Hearth Inn and Tavern, 698 Route 11 West, will hold a St. Patrick’s Day fund-raiser for all the fire victims, according to Thom Huntington. There will be a special Irish menu and Irish music by local musicians with words to sing along.

— Cynthia Prairie

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