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Fire victims enjoy holiday cheer

Jennie Tezak
Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily TribuneNorm Strobel and his wife Sharon Lackey, who lost their home in the Angora fire, attend a holiday party for fire victims that was held Sunday at the Community Care Center.
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About 100 people gathered at the Community Care Center for food, music, merriment and togetherness at a holiday party for Angora fire victims.

Fire victims and other community members munched on sandwiches, cookies, chips, bread, pie and other goodies and drank sodas while sitting at tables talking with one another. Christmas trees, stockings and lights filled the room.

The Community Care Center was formed in October to help Angora fire victims rebuild their lives. The center’s mission was to help with needs, including food, clothing, household goods, furniture, appliances and other items that were lost in the fire.

The site, in the former Mikasa building at the “Y,” was used to accumulate, assemble and distribute donations.

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Sharon Lackey, who lost her Lake Tahoe Boulevard home in the fire, ate salad as she talked about the community support she and her husband received. Lackey’s home is being rebuilt.

“I can’t say enough,” she said. “The generosity and care has been overwhelming. It’s amazing.”

Lackey said that she and her husband will miss the center.

“It’s a safe place to be,” she said.

Steve Ward also lost his home and is trying to rebuild.

“We’ve been visiting often,” he said about the center. “We appreciate the support of the community.”

Ward’s wife, Susan, said she’s been happy with the center.

“I’ve been impressed with the quantity and quality of things donated,” she said. “They are things that can really help us down the line. I’ll miss this place. You don’t have to explain yourself. Everyone is just like you.”

Musicians from the South Tahoe Middle School Choir and South Tahoe High School music department performed. Santa Claus made an appearance, and a raffle was held. Gifts were donated to the fire victims.

“It’s going wonderfully,” Community Care Center director Pamm Bettencourt said of the party.

South Lake Tahoe Mayor Kathay Lovell was pleased with the party’s turnout and the efforts of the community.

“I’m proud of the community coming together to help,” Lovell said. “We are a good community. When it’s important, we pull together. This is a perfect example of that.”


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