Fire Victims Fundraiser Raises Over $10,500!
Beaucoup kudos to one and all in B-Town (and beyond) who turned out, donated, bought, ate, drank and had fun at last night’s Fire Victims Fundraiser at Mick Kelly’s Irish Pub – you raised over $10,500!
Some of last night’s highlights:
- 14 fire victims were there, and got their entire night’s food and drink comped courtesy Mick Kelly’s. All were very emotional about the outpouring from their generous neighbors; some spoke, some cried, and at times there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. We spoke with many of them (see below for details) and it’s clear that they’re still dealing with pain and trauma. It’s tough to not be affected when talking with people who either lost family members, friends or everything they owned and not get angry at a system that doesn’t support them. Where is the counseling? Where are the Therapists? These folks are hurting, and will be for a long time.
- Mick Kelly’s co-owners Mick Purdy and Adrian Kelly’s generous donation of one of their beloved soccer balls autographed by soccer superstar Pele sold for $825. The boys were so overwhelmed that they donated their second (and final, thus very precious) Pele ball which went for another $825 (for a total of $1,650).
- “This is my home forever,” said survivor John Miklosh, referring to the outpouring of support from the people of Burien and its firefighters. He had just bought an “I Love Burien” t-shirt the day before the fire at the Burien Strawberry Festival.
- 29-year old Moriah Marlin, originally from Philadelphia, will always love Burien. “I never, and I mean NEVER, get two days in a row off.” By utter coincidence, Moriah’s employers happened to give her June 28th and 29th off. She and her family spent the weekend visiting friends. “We returned home Sunday morning to nothing.” Moriah’s speech was the emotional highlight of the night, as it was told through tears of both the pain of loss and and the joy of receiving true B-Town generosity.
- According to one of the victims present, a man down the street shouted “You can all burn in hell!” to a resident of the Tara Apartments a few days before the fire. Police detained and released the man, who some said was in his mid-40s. Either this is a case of weird serendipity, or the dude knew something…
- Lindy Kunimoto usually blocked his bedroom door before going to bed. As the flames spread, people outside could see Lindy’s fingers on the window sill of his bedroom. People implored him to jump, a leap that would not have amounted to more than a six-foot fall to the ground below. Lindy (and it is not clear why) stayed put. The ceiling above him collapsed. Lindy Kunimoto was 49.
- Thanks to everyone who helped out on this, especially Patty Sader and Debra George of Discover Burien (along with their entire team, who did most of the real work) – it was truly a team effort and it was obvious from the selflessness that everyone had one goal in mind: to help the fire victims!