Families receive funds for loss of their homes during Coal Seam Fire | PostIndependent.com

Families receive funds for loss of their homes during Coal Seam Fire

Alpine Bank will distribute checks to 32 families who suffered a total loss of their homes in the Coal Seam Fire on June 8. Some of that money came from members of a car club whose show was abruptly cut short by the fire.

“Each family will receive $2,000 in this initial disbursement,” said Alpine Bank Chairman Bob Young. “These payouts are in accordance with our donors’ requests. We know the families need the money now, and that they likely will be receiving funds from other sources, such as the fund the city of Glenwood is administering.”

Bank officials will begin handing out checks at 8:30 a.m. Friday. Checks need to be picked up at the bank. For information, contact Beth Drum at Alpine Bank, 384-3255.

Young also indicated that Alpine Bank will be making a donation to the American Red Cross to help support the cost of the 16,000 meals served, as well as clothing and other immediate needs provided during the eight days the Red Cross shelter was open at Colorado Mountain College’s Spring Valley Campus.

Funds in the Alpine Bank account will be disbursed by the CMC Foundation as a donor-advised contribution. These contributions are tax deductible. CMC took a leadership role by providing its facilities and staff in working with federal and local agencies during the Coal Seam Fire.

The Denver-based MG Car Club Rocky Mountain Centre was in the midst of its 50th anniversary car rallye when the fire broke out. The fire didn’t deter the spirits of these car lovers. Quite the opposite. Club members decided to give back to the local community.

The club donated $1,000 to the Glenwood relief fund through the American Red Cross, said Jeff Knopinski, club president. Knopinski said he sat in the Wal-Mart parking lot for three hours the evening of June 8, talking with many worried local residents.

“We need to do something for Glenwood, because we’ve been going there for 50 years,” said Knopinski.

“So many people were waiting in that safe refuge. We realized that we were inconvenienced for not having the car show. The inconvenience was nothing compared to what these people were going through,” Knopinski said.

Some of the club members left Glenwood Springs when Interstate 70 to the east was opened temporarily, while others traveled through Aspen and over Independence Pass.

Although rallye events went smoothly on Friday and earlier Saturday, rallye events on Sunday including a car show, funkana and awards ceremony were canceled. The car show and awards presentation was rescheduled and held July 27, in Golden.

At their next meeting, the members collected $600 by passing a hat. The rest of the donation came from club funds.

Asked if the club would come back for a 51st annual car rallye next year, Knopinski said, “Oh, absolutely.

“It’s been the No. 1 event of the MG Car Club for the past 50 years.” The club has 133 members from across Colorado and New Mexico. Club members posted photos of the fire on their website at http://www.mgcc.org.

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