Moose Lodge aids friend in need after house fire

January 31, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

Members of the Westminster Moose Lodge have raised $4,500 for one of their own -- longtime member Virginia Mitten, who lost her John Street home in a fire late last year.

"I couldn't believe the way everyone pulled together," lodge employee Joan Howard said last week, after proceeds were totaled from the benefit held Jan. 16.

"The day was emotional and perfect," Ms. Howard recalled.

Nearly 400 people participated in the event, which was held on the coldest Sunday of the year.

"We all had such a warm feeling," Ms. Howard said. "The place was packed and there is just no way we can thank everyone for all the help."

Ms. Mitten, 71, lost nearly all her possessions in the fire that also destroyed two other homes Nov. 7.

"All we saved were a few pieces of clothing and some furniture," Ms. Mitten said.

She is awaiting an insurance settlement before deciding whether she will rebuild the house where she had lived for more than 20 years, she said.

"Insurance is never enough," said Ms. Howard. "We know Ginny needs everything."

Dick Ford, lodge administrator, called Ms. Mitten a "mainstay at lodge events and a real sweetheart."

"We were praying for about $4,000 and went beyond our wildest dreams to raise $4,500," said Ms. Howard.

"We didn't spend a cent, either. All the proceeds go to Ginny," she added.

The crowd that packed the lodge on Buena Vista Drive watched Elvis and Roy Orbison impersonators, sang Karaoke tunes and bid as donations went on the auction block.

"Local retailers gave us everything," Ms. Howard said.

"We had clothes, flowers, dinners, haircuts and nights at several inns," she said.

A donation of 100 gallons of heating fuel from S. L. Bare Co. generated the liveliest bidding, she said.

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