Brent Friesen watches as demolition crews clean up the family’s home after it was destroyed by fire last year leaving his mother and three siblings homeless. The home was uninsured.
By Marianne Curtis
It has been a difficult year and a half for a single mother and her family after they lost their home in a fire last spring. However, thanks to her friends, the family has renewed hope that their lives will once again be restored.
On September 11, a special fundraiser is taking place at the Friedensfeld Hall that is expected to raise money to help raise the roof of a new home for Niki Guerrero and her children. The event is being held to raise money to help replace the Guerrero’s Kleefeld home which was destroyed by fire.
During spring break 2009, Guerrero was home alone when she was woken up from a nap by the smoke alarm. Finding her home full of smoke, she grabbed her pets and called 911. Investigation revealed that the fire was caused by a space heater in the home.
Since then, things have been a mess for the single mother of four. At the time of the fire, recently separated Guerrero was in the process of changing insurance companies so the home was not insured when the fire took place. Without insurance the family can not rebuild nor do they have a place to live.
“So many people have asked why I don’t give up and walk away or claim bankruptcy,” stated Guerrero. “I love my town; loved my home; I love my yard and basically my life there. It’s where we belong and really I will hang on as long as I can or as long as it takes to make our home there again – I am also having difficulty (obviously) with financing.”
Guerrero says that despite the strain on her life and her family, she is extremely grateful to her family, church and community for all their help since the blaze.
“My brother took us in for about a week and in the meantime the town found us a rental and the church paid the rent for 3 months so my son could complete school in Kleefeld,” Guerrero gratefully explained. After that the family stayed with a friend for a few months before deciding to move in with her parents while the rebuild is being planned. “This whole thing has put a strain on my kids and I, along with relationships with my extended family”
Roxie Kehler, a close friend of the family decided that a fundraiser was needed to help the family return their lives back to normal. In response, she is planning the “Hey Niki!!! We’re gonna RAISE YOUR ROOF!!!” event.
“We have a local building supply store that has offered to help us with the purchase of materials to build the house,” explained Kehler. “All proceeds from the fundraiser will be put into an account at the store to be used to buy building materials and the home will be built by volunteers in Kleefeld.”
To ensure the success of the event, many things are needed including volunteers. The group is looking for an auctioneer, and about six bands or entertainers that would be willing to volunteer their time to help keep crowds entertained during the all day event.
The event will kick off on September 11 at the Friedensfeld Hall starting at 9AM when the public is invited to drop off items for an auction sale that will start at 11 AM. Many free activities will take place throughout the day but tickets are needed to attend the concerts.
Donations of left over building materials to help with the rebuild will also be gratefully accepted. Anyone wishing to get involved by volunteering to play at the concert, buy tickets or donate can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 392-4607.
A fundraiser is being planned to help Niki Guerrero and her children rebuild their home in Kleefeld.