By JOSEPH HAMRICK
After hearing that the Gary Walter family in Commerce lost everything in a house fire, Celeste High School Beta Club members organized a fundraiser to help the family rebuild in time for the Christmas season.
“Mrs. Hackler, our sponsor mentioned that their house burned down in late November,” Frances Wilgus, treasurer for the Celeste Beta Club said. “and we felt like it was our duty to help the family out.”
Celeste Beta Club Secretary Rachel Myers said the club knew it would help the family in this time.
“We immediately knew that we were going to make a donation to them,” she said.
Katie Amaro, sentinel at arms for the Beta Club, said this was not a new experience for the club.
“Last year we had people in Celeste who had their house burned down,” she said. “And we donated to help them out.”
Along with monetary donations, the club accepted other items to send to the family as well.
“We had people donate houseold items, money and gift cards,” Carly Collida, vice president of the Beta Club said.
According to Collida, volunteering has given her a heightened sense of what a community is.
“It gave us a real sense of community and who we are,” she said.
After the club collected the donations from the community, it delivered the money and items to one of the sons of the family, and Wilgus said that made it more meaningful.
“It was very special to be able to give the donation to a member of the family,” Wilgus said. “It made it personal that we gave it to him.”
Wilgus said she was excited to see Celeste give during the Christmas season.
“It was very rewarding,” she said. “Just to see how the community came together and unified together. It was comforting to see people take time out of their busy lives to help others as well.”
The Beta Club collected more than $200 and several boxes full of items that were delivered to the Walter family.