A photo can say so much.
In one picture, firefighters stand knee-high in flood water while dousing a mobile home blaze. In another, a group stands in the back of a large truck.
Both were scenes from historic, mid-March flooding that caused challenges and hardships for people from throughout the area — and turned Fremont into an island of sorts when roads in and out of the city became impassable.
Now, local residents will host an event designed to raise funds that will go to the Fremont Area Community Foundation for distribution to Dodge County flood victims and first-responders.
The public is invited to “Life’s a Beach on Fremont Island.” Gates open at 6 p.m. June 28 in the Ilgenfritz parking lot on Park Avenue, between Third and Fourth streets.
Admission to the event is $5 per person. Benefit T-shirts are being sold now at L.A. Fireproof Door Company, 325 N. Main St. Cost is $20 each. Those who come in their T-shirt get in for free.
Two local bands will perform at the event. The Centerline Band, which plays classic rock music, will play from 8-9 p.m. The Write-Offs, a group coming out of retirement just for this event, will play from 9 p.m. to midnight.
Roxie Kracl, co-owner to L.A. Fireproof Door, said planning for the fundraiser began after John LaMar of The Write-Offs came to her saying the group would like to have a benefit for flood victims.
“So we started working on it together,” she said.
Staffing will be provided by local non-profits which will have tip buckets. All monies they raise through tips will go directly to their organizations. Donations also will be made to these groups.
The nonprofits, which each will be running their own beer and liquor stations, are: FurEver Home, Inc.; Rebuilding Together, Platte Valley East; Fremont Area Habitat for Humanity; and the Fremont Rural Volunteer Fire Department.
Food also will be served in the parking lot.
“I think we’re doing Irv’s sandwiches and Wahoo Wieners,” she said.
There will be raffles, too. One item includes a riding lawnmower and trailer wrapped in a Busch Light logo along with free beer for a year. Kracl said there are other great gifts from community sponsors as well.
The drawing for the lawnmower won’t take place until 6 p.m. July 14 at L.A. Fireproof Door during the John C. Fremont Days festival. Raffle tickets for the lawnmower will be sold until then. All monies raised through this will go to the benefit.
“We’ve had so many local sponsors that stepped up and donated anywhere from $750 up to $10,000. We’ve had some great support from other local businesses,” she said.
Kracl commends those involved with the effort.
“Everybody has donated their time,” she said. “We’ve had pretty much everything donated to keep this cost-wise down to nothing almost.”
After expenses, she said, all funds will go to flood victims and first responders.
Kracl appreciates the effort of first responders during the flooding.
Her son, Riley McCoy, is on the Fremont Rural Volunteer Fire Department and saw all the time and energy people in that department donated during the flood.
They began working to help flood victims at Emerson Estates in Fremont and even had to evacuate from their own fire station in Inglewood due to the flooding.
“So many of the guys in the department were flood victims themselves,” she said. “Their families are home, being flooded out, as they’re out volunteering their time.”
Many were being evacuated themselves.
“The sacrifices those guys made over that week was amazing,” she said. “They just worked nonstop.”
Those who’d like to make an online gift may do so at: https://www.facfoundation.org/fremontislandfund.html
“Much good work has been done throughout the Fremont area to help those impacted by the March 2019 flood event, but there is much work yet to be done as we move into recovery mode,” said Melissa Diers, executive director of the Fremont Area Community Foundation. “We are grateful and happy to support this event which will lift up the work of those on the front lines of flood relief activity and further aid efforts to return people to healthy homes.”