Community pitches in for kids who lost livestock in fire

When the Chelan High School Agriculture teacher lost his home August 14 in the fires blazing in and around Chelan, Matt Debach set up a Go Fund Me account to help FFA and 4H students recoup loses spent on livestock for the upcoming Chelan County Fair.
“Mr. Rod Cool, the agriculture teacher at Chelan High School, is one of the most thoughtful and compassionate teachers in the state, so he was letting students who did not have a place to have a fair animal at their own home keep fair animals at his home,” said Deebach. “In this tragedy, many of the animals were lost.”
Deebach, the agriculture teacher and FFA advisor for Tonasket High School, said he set the account up Saturday, Aug. 15, and within eleven hours they had reached their goal of raising $5,000 to help the kids.
“It’s pretty amazing, we are flooded with emails and phone calls of people still wanting to donate,” said Deebach. The funding account was shut down after reaching it’s goal, but Deebach and Cool are waiting to see what other needs are out there, before either opening that account back up or establishing a new fire relief fund.
Deebach said that many kids who were able to save their livestock, lost pens that will have to be rebuilt.
“We still don’t know what all the needs will be, and that area is still in danger,” Deebach said Monday, Aug. 17, adding, “The Manson 4H and FFA kids were evacuated last night, and Pateros might be evacuating. So basically, right now we are waiting to see what all the needs are.”
Deebach said the National FFA had gotten in touch with him, as well as other area agriculture teachers, wanting to know what they could do to help.
“It’s quite a sad deal. Rod Cool had animals at his house that he lost, because he was helping other people at their homes to get their animals out, and there just wasn’t time for him to go back to his house,” Deebach said. “Rod said he had insurance, so he knows there are a lot of people worse off than him.”

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