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Contributions to emergency-relief fund are growing

What’s missing in this photo cutout board at Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Trail Tours on Aug. 9 are the real rafters in Durango. With the closing of the Animas River for eight days because of the Gold King Mine wastewater spill, rafting companies saw a significant decline in revenue, and many employees lost employment hours. The Community Emergency Relief Fund will help them with immediate needs, and donations are flowing into the fund.

Money has started flowing into the Community Emergency Relief Fund since it was reopened over the weekend by the Durango Business Improvement District and Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado.

The fund had a balance of $28,000 when it was reopened, but Tim Walsworth, executive director of BID, said that wouldn’t be nearly enough considering the number of people who would need help with immediate expenses such as rent, groceries and utilities after the Animas River spill.

A number of businesses have stepped up, including La Plata Electric Association Round Up Foundation, $4,000; Nature’s Oasis, $500; Bank of Colorado, $2,500; and First National Bank of Durango, $5,000.

Steamworks Brewing Co. and El Moro Spirits & Tavern are planning fundraising events at both restaurants Sept. 2. The Bootleggers Society is brewing a special beer to benefit the fund. Hopefully, it won’t have a Tang-orange-colored label, but then again, maybe it should.

Applications have also begun coming in rapidly, Walsworth said.

Herald Staff

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