Harrah’s donates $130K to Angora fund
The Lake Tahoe Angora Fire Fund received $130,650 from Harrah’s and Harveys Lake Tahoe on Wednesday.
The casinos also donated $55,000 to its own employees who lost their homes in the fire, said John Koster, regional president of Harrah’s Northern Nevada operations.
Koster said Harrah’s donated blankets, pillows, free meals, toiletries and free hotel room nights to displaced employees, Forest Service personnel, firefighters and Red Cross workers during and after the fire.
Fire fund board directors Betty “B” Gorman, Rex McQuillen and Carrie Reiter accepted the check.
Gorman, president of the Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce, said donations still are needed eight months after the Angora fire because many fire victims’ needs are unmet.
“We still have a long ways to go,” Gorman said.
Many fire victims are discovering they need more help, and some are underinsured, said Reiter, administrative director of the Community Disaster Resource Center.
Reiter currently has 316 cases involving more than 600 victims of the Angora fire.
“We need to be ready, we need to be prepared and armed to provide for future needs,” said McQuillen, pastor of Sierra Community Church, who noted that the rebuilding season is approaching and needs might surface that weren’t originally anticipated.
So far, the fire fund has dispersed $516,000 to fire survivors and has $310,000 in its account, including the Harrah’s donation, Reiter said.
Reiter said other donators include Heavenly Mountain Resort, which gave $91,000; Lake Tahoe Development, $75,000; Sydney Frank Foundation, $25,000; and Lutheran Disaster Services, $24,000.
Former NBA star Charles Barkley’s pledge of $100,000 will be in the fund by Tuesday, his representative said.