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Ovid Fundraiser Looks to Rebuild with Love

LODI, N.Y. (WETM-18) – Nearly two weeks after a devastating fire ripped through downtown Ovid and left eight families homeless, the community is coming together to help rebuild their lives.
LODI, N.Y. (WETM-18) – Nearly two weeks after a devastating fire ripped through downtown Ovid and left eight families homeless, the community is coming together to help rebuild their lives.

When that massive fire sparked on March 18th, it wasn’t just buildings and businesses that were destroyed. Eight families lost everything they had in the flames. Now, neighbors are helping replace what was lost. “This community is unbelievable,” said Kristin Jennings, owner of the Eagle Hotel in Lodi, where the benefit was held. “There’s absolutely nobody that didn’t want to donate.”

At the Eagle Hotel, the main room was packed. Word of the event spread through social media after Jennings announced her plan for a fundraiser with music and raffles. “The phone calls came in, the bands wanted to play, wanted to do sound, wanted to donate items,” said Jennings. “All the food's been donated, everything has been donated. I've had young kids stop me at the store and say, "can I come?" And it's like, well of course. "It's because I have three dollars and I want to make sure I can help."”

In the nearly two weeks since the devastating fire, only one of the eight families that used to live in the apartments that were affected has found a new place to live. Those at the fundraiser say they are trying to help these families rebuild their lives, long before the buildings themselves are rebuilt. “Our goal is to raise enough money to hopefully make first month's rent and security deposit for these folks to be able to get into an apartment right away,” said Jennings.

Even at the burned out and broken buildings, there are already signs of renewed hope. A sign on the front of the Chinese restaurant says “We Will Be Reopening Soon”. For those at the Eagle Hotel, they are looking to rebuild lives with love.

“We may not know their names, but it doesn't make a difference,” said Jennings. “It's a member of our community, and when something happens to a member of our community, everybody comes together and does whatever they can to help out.”

The Five Star Bank in Ovid has a fund set up for the families. Checks to the fund can be made out to the "OFC – Fire Victims Fund" or call 304-268-4863.
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