Prineville Elks dinner to benefit the victims of the Paulina fire

Proceeds from the $10 dinner will all go to the families who lost their possessions in the blaze


The Prineville Elks will be hosting a fundraising dinner for the families impacted by the New Year’s Eve fire in Paulina, which destroyed three homes.

When Elk member Virginia Boehlke heard of the fire, she knew she had to help.

“I called the Paulina Store to find out what was needed and went through my closets and came up with several boxes of household items and clothes,” she said. “I then drove them down to the collection site.”

It was there that she met Sarah Teskey, secretary/treasurer and  EMT for Rager Emergency Services.

“I mentioned to her my idea about hosting a fundraising dinner for the fire victims and she was very receptive,” said Boehlke, who came home and immediately began planning the event.

The structure fire broke out in Paulina early in the morning, destroying three homes. The fire had been initially reported as a single-residence blaze, but two more structures caught fire due to their proximity to the first structure. The second structure was a single family residence that was vacant at the time of the fire and the third was a duplex. One side of the duplex was occupied by a single resident who got out safely. Although no one was seriously injured, all three structures involved in the fire were a total loss.

To help provide financial assistance for those affected, the Elks will put on a chicken fried steak dinner for $10 with all of the proceeds going to the families who lost their possessions in the fire.

Teskey said that the response of the surrounding communities has been incredible.

“We had so many donated items in terms of clothing, jackets and household goods and we also have a list of people that have offered furniture items,” she said. “The families now have what they need and are settled in to permanent housing.”

Boehlke was able to quickly bring together the details for the fundraising dinner with the help of Shelley Nelson, manager of the Elks Lodge.

“I knew that the Elks organization is always very good at supporting local charities and helping others in need,” said Boehlke. “They did not hesitate in giving the dinner their OK and donating the use of the lodge.”

The efforts of the community and the fundraising dinner will go a long way in helping those in Paulina recover from the fire, but Teskey said that the emotional impact will take longer to heal.

“In general, I think physically everyone is doing pretty well and they have what they need,” she said. “But, dealing with the personal stuff is different and they are all still working through that.”

The Elks will host a fundraising dinner for the families impacted by the New Year’s Eve fire in Paulina, on Saturday, Jan. 31 at 4 p.m. Tickets are $10.

Those planning on attending the fundraising dinner are asked to call the Elks Lodge at 541-447-7088 by Jan. 27 to facilitate menu planning.

Kurt's Country Store is coordinating donations for families affected by the fire and can be reached at 541-477-3311 or by visiting rageres.org/news.html.

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