Fundraiser exceeds fire victims' expectations
When Carrie and David Johnson lost most of their belongings and their beloved dog in a fire last month, they were devastated.
On March 11, the home they were renting at 337 Pleasant St. in Rockland caught fire. Despite emergency and fire efforts, the home and its belonging saw tremendous smoke and water damage and the family dog, Tater, perished.
Since then friends, family and the community have generously donated of their time and money to help get the couple back on their feet.
Within two days of the incident friend Zachary Herrick set up an online donation account at gofundme.com/7h8ioo.
And on March 29 owners of The Landings Restaurant in Rockland opened their establishment for a benefit dinner and live auction. More than 100 community members attended the event.
The cover charge got attendees a meal of chili and baked potato bar, along with other food items, while more than 50 donated items were auctioned off and the 50/50 raffle was offered back to the couple.
"It exceeded everyone's expectations," said Molly Miller Staples who assisted in organizing the event. "We live in a very sensitive community," she said.
"Both Carrie and I would like to extend our gratitude to the community, our friends and family," Johnson said in an email March 31.
"Although we were devastated by the situation, everyone refused to let us fall. With all the love and generosity our life has a new beginning. We love and thank you all," he said.
Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
594-4401 ext. 125
Beth rejoined Courier Publications' news staff in February 2013. She previously worked at The Courier-Gazette from 1981 to 1990.
Her coverage area includes Warren, Union, Friendship, Waldoboro, Washington, and Thomaston and RSU40.
Beth has a passion for photography, and a degree from the University of Maine at Augusta, in affiliation with the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport.
Aside from photography, Beth enjoys running and walks along the waterfront, as well as other outdoor activities. She has a daughter, Claire, who is 13.