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Green Valley Fire benefit a success

The Ramsbacher family (Joe, Lisa, Aiden and John) enjoys a meal Saturday night at the Green Valley Fire Relief benefit. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)1 / 2
One highlight of the Green Valley Fire benefit was a ride on the trucks that saved much of the area from the devastating May burn. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)2 / 2

By Anna Erickson

More than $14,000 was raised for those affected by the Green Valley Fire at Saturday’s community fundraiser in Menahga.

People gathered to eat hamburgers, chicken and French fries, play games, listen to music and bid on an array of silent auction items.

The Green Valley Fire Relief Board will determine how these funds will be dispersed to victims of the fire. The board is working closely with the First Bank of Menahga and Mahube-Otwa in developing a set of bylaws and a process to accept donations, applications for assistance and distribute the donated funds.

Documentation and paperwork for the bylaws and distribution process is in the final approval cycle, however, not yet complete.

The fund is actively accepting donations. Donations to the Green Valley Fire Relief Fund can be made through Mahube-Otwa with the designation: Green Valley Fire Relief. Those donations are tax deductible, as Mahube-Otwa has a 401(c)3 status and is being utilized as the fiscal agent on this program.

For those fire victims seeking financial assistance, the process includes filling out an application and reviewing it with the intake coordinator for clarity and accuracy. A case number is then assigned. Once a case number is assigned, the application review committee will look at the applications and make a recommendation to the board. Then the board will convene to make final determination and instruct Mahube-Otwa to disburse the funds.

The process uses case numbers so that privacy is assured and only the intake coordinator interacts with the applicant directly.

Board members include Bradley Livingston, chairman; Tom Hanninen, vice chairman; Carrie Johnson-Robbins, treasurer; Kara Haataja, secretary; Craig Braunschweig; Susan Cole; Vergene Hendrickson; Arnold Matson; and Susan Tomte.

For those who wish to apply for the funds, Application forms are now available and can be filled out and turned in to Livingston, who is also the intake coordinator. He can be reached at 701-793-5271 or through email at There is also Facebook page for the Green Valley Fire Relief where updates are posted regularly.

Applications will be accepted through Aug. 31 (or 30 days following the approval of the by-laws) so the application review committee will have 30 days to review the applications and make recommendations to the board.

Anyone interested in participating on the board or in the process can contact any of the current board members for additional information.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561