Residents, businesses chip in to help in wake of hurricane |

Residents, businesses chip in to help in wake of hurricane

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk

FRISCO Summit County residents and businesses are emptying their pocketbooks and closets to aid Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.Area banks have already pledged tens of thousands of dollars to match local contributions and individuals have donated at a stunning rate.Its cool whats going on in the county, said Breckenridge resident Vickie Dempsey.Dempsey has been collecting donations at her home since Wednesday in response to an e-mail she received from her friend, one-time Breckenridge resident Jo Busse. Now living in New Roads, La., north of the hurricanes worst, Busse is distributing donations to hundreds of refugees staying in area churches. Dempsey said she has received little communications from Busse, who may be surprised at the response a few flyers around town kicked up.I dont think she realizes shes getting probably 150 boxes, said Dempsey, who noted she has also received more than $1,200 for shipping and that UPS is cutting her a deal. Among clothes and toiletries, Dempsey has collected what she calls lovies, items not necessary for survival, but that provide some comfort for the displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina. I cant tell you how many kids have (given me) stuffed animals, she said.The community response has easily exceeded her expectations.This is amazing, whats on my front porch, she said. The people of the town are awesome, bringing clean, folded, nice things.

Jen Raimi hasnt had any trouble finding support for a Sherpa & Yetis benefit set for Saturday night at the Breckenridge bar.Raimi, Sherpas bar manager, has already received a snowboard from Unity Snowboards, lift tickets from Copper Mountain, a dozen restaurant coupons and a local painting to be auctioned off or used as a prize in the raffle. The evenings proceeds benefit The New Orleans Musicians Clinic, a New Orleans charity that aids musicians in the city where Sherpas pulls many of its acts. We’re just looking to do something besides the Red Cross, said Crawford Byers, the clubs talent buyer. We are the music club, you know? We have to step up.The evenings itinerary isnt set: Byers knows hell have bands at the show probably three he just doesnt know which ones. The club will donate all the money from the door, much of the bar, half the evenings tips and all of the proceeds from the silent auction, and every employee is working for free.Frisco resident Mary Pat Swartsley is literally giving the shirt off her back.She found a few things in her kitchen and in the back of her closet to chip in. Instead of sending boxes, shes sending a check.Her planned weekend garage sale at her home in Frisco turned into a benefit for the American Red Cross relief efforts. A couple of extra lines in her classified ad noting that the money would be donated to the Red Cross relief efforts prompted several local residents to contribute to her sale, which grossed $452.12.It snowballed, she said. People just came by … they brought clothes, microwaves, framed artwork …The Mile High Chapter of the American Red Cross announced Monday that it had raised more than $5 million in Colorado for hurricane relief.Chris Kornelis can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 216, or at

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