Ernie Beale of Kamloops “auctions off” Cache Creek council (from left Cllrs. Wyatt McMurray

Flood relief donations reach $250,000

Council anxious to appoint a committee to begin allocating relief funds.

More than six weeks after the flood that battered Cache Creek, relief funds continue to come in. The Lions Club in 100 Mile House met the challenge of the Ashcroft and District Lions and donated $500, and last week the TNRD’s board of directors voted in favour of a resolution that would see each of the 10 directors donate a portion of their discretionary funds—about $500 each—to the Village’s Disaster Relief fund.

That fund got a huge boost over the weekend, with two concerts and a silent auction raising more than $40,000 for disaster relief. On July 3 Arrival and Dreams—tribute bands to ABBA and Fleetwood Mac—performed well past midnight to an appreciative crowd of some 180 people, while Saturday saw tribute bands Aerosmith Rocks (Aerosmith), The Night Train (Guns N’ Roses), and Who Made Who (AC/DC) perform a high energy concert that had close to 200 people on their feet rocking the Cache Creek Community Hall until 2:00 am.

“The generosity of people, related to the unrecoverable losses some of the citizens of Cache Creek suffered, is heartwarming, for sure,” said John Ranta, Cache Creek’s mayor and chairman of the TNRD board of directors.

Live and silent auctions at Friday’s concert brought in just under $12,000, with a local businessman purchasing two minutes of Ranta’s speech time. This left the mayor with only three minutes to talk about the effects of the flood on the community, no part of which was unaffected, and say how proud he was to be the mayor. “My mother said you can never stop water from running,” he concluded. “The Village of Cache Creek has shown that its spirit is stronger than nature, and that we will rebuild, we will be stronger.”

Councillor Wyatt McMurray, who organized the two concerts, thanked everyone for helping put Cache Creek back together. “Everyone rose to the occasion,” he said, singling out the Village of Ashcroft, and Cache Creek resident Clayton Cassidy, for their efforts. He acknowledged that relations between Cache Creek and Ashcroft have been difficult at times, but said that no one could have had a better neighbour during the recent catastrophe. Speaking of Cassidy, who has been tireless in his efforts to help out since the flood, McMurray said that there can’t be many residents he hasn’t helped in the weeks since the flood, digging out yards for anyone who needed assistance.

“This has been an amazing unification and coming together,” he said. “Few communities have neighbours helping neighbours for no other reason than that they care.”

A special council meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 14 at 9:30 am to appoint the committee that will oversee the dispersal of the relief funds, which currently total $250,000. Several people have already put their names forward, but McMurray said the Village would like to see a few more.

“We’d like a committee of five people,” he said, noting that prospective committee members will have to be vetted to ensure that there is no conflict of interest. Asked if out of town people would be considered for the committee, McMurray said “That absolutely makes sense. Anyone on the committee will have to be completely objective, and not emotionally tied to the disaster. Someone from out of town would have no dog in the race.”

He admits that the committee will be a hard one to be a part of. “The members will have to make tough decisions, and not be influenced, not let emotions get in the way. But we have to get going on this,” he added. “We have the money, and have to get the funds to the people who need it.”

The fund is specifically for residents and small businesses who suffered losses during the flooding, and will not be used to replace or repair damaged Village infrastructure. John Ranta estimates personal property losses to be around $3 million, which does not include so-called “non-essentials”, such as landscaping. Damage to Village infrastructure is estimated to be around $2 million.

Anyone interested in participating in the Relief Fund committee should contact the Cache Creek Village Office at (250) 457-6237, or by e-mail at admin@cachecreek.info, by Monday, July 13.

McMurray also said that a Family Day is in the early stages of being planned for Cache Creek, to take place before the end of summer. “We’ve had a lot of fundraisers, and they’ve been more adult-oriented,” he said. The Family Day isn’t a fundraiser; it will be a chance for children and families in Cache Creek to have a good time. “People can relax, party, be together, and have fun,” said McMurray. “It will be a chance to put this behind us and move on.”

Barbara Roden

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