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Langley family raises $400 to aid rebuild of Lytton family businesses

Locals have several cousins who were displaced and lost businesses in wildfire
Aerial photo of Lytton after a wildfire ravaged through the village on June 30, 2021. Langley cousins Eric Fandrich and Larissa Thomson are fundraising to help their family whose businesses and homes were destroyed in the community. (Eric Fandrich/Special to Langley Advance Times)

A local family raised hundreds of dollars during a recent garage sale in support of relatives who were forced to flee Lytton after a wildfire tore through the town.

After learning of the devastation in the southern British Columbia village, cousins Larissa Thomson and Eric Fandrich moved quickly to support their family.

READ MORE: RCMP probing ‘possible criminality’ in fatal Lytton wildfire

Thomson told the Langley Advance Times several cousins were displaced as a result of the wildfire, and the family’s two businesses – Kumsheen Rafting and Klowa Art Cafe – suffered extensive damage, but everyone was safe.

The day after the June 30 wildfire destroyed much of Lytton two GoFundMe campaigns were launched to help the family rebuild their businesses.

READ MORE: Langley family fundraising for Lytton relatives forced to flee wildfire

To support the cause Thomson hosted a garage sale on July 10 at her Brookswood home.

“I was able to donate $200 to each campaign ($400 total) from the proceeds of the garage sale,” she said.

“Which, with such short notice, is not too bad, considering most people come to a garage sale armed with a change-purse full of loonies and twoonies,” she laughed.

“We did have a few people coming because they’d seen the story in the paper.”

As of Tuesday (July 27), the fundraiser in support of Kumsheen Rafting had raised $3,300, while the Klowas campaign has raised nearly $13,000.

Last week (July 22), Thomson said her cousin Braden, one of the family members who operates Kumsheen Rafting, provided an update on the damage sustained.

“As of this afternoon [July 22], the evacuation order for Kumsheen from the Lytton Creek Wildfire has been downgraded to an alert, so while we are thankful to be able to return to the resort, we are also prepared to leave again if necessary,” Thomson retold.

“The Village of Lytton and other nearby areas are still on evacuation order. We are currently in the process of surveying damages from the fire and cleaning up the resort, and working on our operational plan for the upcoming months.”

Meanwhile, Meghan, who runs Klowas, told her Thomson she will be “working with local artisans to put their products online… getting access to our coffee roasting machine – it was offsite and survived the fire – and starting it up.”

“I imagine it will be a lot of work to get the shop’s inventory replenished,” Thomson said.”So her company website isn’t accepting online orders right now, but when it is, you’ll see that she is an incredibly talented knitter and has beautiful toques and knitwear.”

As of Tuesday there were 250 wildfires burning across the province, according to BC Wildfire.

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