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Aid pours in for fire victims
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The future is looking much brighter for the Ceres family who lost all their possessions and their mobilehome to a Jan. 5 fire. The community has responded to calls for help and the family is being delivered items - including a replacement double-wide mobilehome - to get on with their lives.

Felipe and Marcela Garcia lost their home at space #26 in Voyager's Cove Mobilehome Park in Ceres. The loss was not covered by insurance because the Garcias allowed their homeowners' insurance to lapse because they were struggling financially.

Borden & Sons, a Ceres company on Service Road, has donated a nice replacement mobilehome. Company owner Sam Borden, whose Service Road house was also burned in another recent fire, is donating his services to remove and dispose of the burned unit. Volunteers will gath this week at the site of the burned out trailer to remove all trash and debris with the anticipation of the home going up this week.

DeWerk said his volunteers have lined up to provide carpeting in the new home.

A number of community groups, including Soroptimist International of Ceres, Ceres Lions Club, Ceres public safety employees, business owners and private individuals have donated cash and goods. Staff members of the Ceres High School, where one of the Garcia children attends school, have also organized a collection of clothing.

"As usual, the Ceres community is showing it unique characteristics," said Police Chief Art deWerk. "I am amazed at what has been taking place, all at the grass roots level."

A number of Ceres public safety employees have donated essential household items, and came up with a refrigerator, washer, dryer and other household appliances.

"The displaced family will end up with a nice home, completely outfitted with all necessary household items and, most likely, filled cupboards," said deWerk.

Lions have donated $1,500 and Soroptimists $500.

"There are a lot of folks who have worked to put this family's life back together," said Lisa Mantarro Moore, a member of the Ceres Soroptimists.

"Wal Mart was incredibly generous in providing a shopping trip to outfit both parents," said Moore.

There is still need for cash donations to purchase windows, flooring, queen mattress set, light fixtures, and basic home furnishings. The cash that has been received thus far has been used to purchase a refrigerator, clothes for the children, a stove and permits.

Anyone wanting to volunteer time, supplies or materials for the project may contact city of Ceres Community Relations Officer Enrique Perez at 538-5735.