TUPPER LAKE - Several local groups are teaming up to hold an event to raise money for people affected by last week's destructive flooding.
The Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce and Adirondack Residents Intent on Saving Their Economy are joining with the Ecumenical Pastors Fund to hold an event on Saturday, May 21 at the Big Tupper Ski Area to help flood victims repair the damages to their property.
A combination of activities and presenters are in the works, and many details are still being ironed out.
ARISE Chairman Jim LaValley said there will be a few banks there with special loan programs for flood victims, Tupper Lake Supply will offer a special deferred payment plan for them, insurance representatives will be there to talk about flood insurance in case another flood happens in the future, and he's trying to get a representative from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
There will also be entertainment, including music - likely a DJ - as well as a fishing contest for kids.
LaValley said organizers also hope to bring back a woman from the Akwasasne reservation who performed a snow dance for ARISE at Big Tupper in January, as well as some of the other spiritual leaders who were there, to perform a service wishing for prosperity.
Additionally, local chef Jim Foti and Tom Sciacca will have a rematch of the cook-off they held last winter as an ARISE fundraiser at Foti's White Birch Cafe.
There will also likely be other games and giveaways. LaValley said organizers have approached many local businesses to look for donations, and "we're getting a really strong response."
The groups will take donations leading up to the event by phone at the chamber offices at 518-359-3328 and online at www.tupper-lake.com.
The money raised will be put into the Ecumenical Pastors Fund and distributed by local clergy.
Organizers are still deciding how to distribute the money and whether residences will get preference over businesses, LaValley said. He said the goal is to try to avoid a complicated application process.
"They're going to try and make it as easy, very confidential and as smooth as we can," LaValley said.
This isn't the only flood victim fundraiser in the works. Lisa Dewyea Reed is heading up a Facebook campaign to organize another benefit, likely to be held outdoors sometime in June. She said there will probably be a chicken barbecue, and she has two local bands, Lost in Transition and Slingshot, nailed down and is working on booking more.
Reed said the idea came around because a few people commented on Facebook that locals always jump to send money to other states and countries when there's a disaster, "so someone better do something here!"
As details of both fundraisers are solidified, the Enterprise will report them.
Contact Jessica Collier at 518-891-2600 ext. 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org.