Community shows up to help family in need

During a well-attended taco benefit dinner, Mark Albertson (right) presented the students of the Step Up alternative school, who helped the Albertson family after their home burned. The evening brought in over $7,000 in addition to a couple grand from a can drive coordinated by a local church. 

It was a challenge to find parking and even a harder time for seating at the Lakeview Elks Lodge on the evening of Saturday, Jan. 6, as the community showed up in spades to support Tonia and Mark Albertson. 

From the ashes of a house fire in mid-December that took nearly all of the Albertson’s possessions turned into an evening of well wishes and contributions. With all taken into account, a grand total of $7,337 was made. 

The main draw of the night was a taco feed, which served 240 people total and took in $2,570. All the makings to create the best tacos ran out so organizers retreated to their back-up supply, which also depleted in no time. 

Several other efforts took place, including the most money collected from a silent auction, raising $3,047. A raffle for a quilt, made by Marge Kerr, who recently passed on, and donated by Dave and Diana Kerr, took in $159. The winner of the full-sized quilt was Kerry Rucker. Other donations were calculated to come out to $1,561. 

A few weeks prior to the taco feed, a can drive raised $2,250. The effort was thanks to the Lakeview Assembly of God. An auction that was organized by students from the Step Up alternative school also brought in monies to give toward the family. Mark Albertson invited the group up to talk about their efforts, which included collected over 25,000 cans and clean up. “I love them,” he said. “They’re everything I got. My heart is big from all of you being here. Some of you came a long way.” 

To extend the evening and collect even more funds, an open mic invited anyone with artistic talent. Tips that were solicited went toward the donation fund. 

For more information, contact the Lakeview Elks Lodge at 541-947-2258. 

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