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Fundraiser planned after fire destroys family’s home, possessions

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CHARLO — The Blythe family: Richard, Jeanette, and their daughter Maria, lost their life’s possessions. With extreme wind fueling the flames on April 4, the Blythe family lost their home to a devastating fire in Charlo. Everything was a complete loss in their home, with the most impactful loss of Richard’s service dog, Duke, dying as a hero saving his life. 

Richard is a disabled Vietnam Veteran and Blackfeet tribal member, Jeanette works for tribal mental health in St. Ignatius, and Maria tends to chores with their animals and her chickens. She sells the eggs to make money. Maria lost all the cash she saved from selling these eggs in this tragedy. The Blythes are a giving family for their community of Charlo and the surrounding area. They have been purchasing healthy food for elders in the area so they do not face food insecurity and delivering it. The Blythes go even further than feeding the elderly, as they are also foster parents for the tribe. 

The Blythe family has to replace all the little things the rest of us take for granted. With all these costs rapidly accruing, they are discovering that they need the help of the community they give to. In the spirit of giving unconditionally, they could use the help of everyone else who has a compassionate heart. As a family friend, I ask all who see this to dig deep into their heart and pockets by donating to this cause. Every little bit helps, as being able to buy the necessities and rebuilding what they have lost comes at an astronomical cost. The total of the loss cannot even be estimated monetarily, as it is the little things that cannot be replaced. I am again asking Lake County residents, and all others, to rally together and come to their aid in any way possible. 

On Saturday, May 21 from 4-7 p.m., there will be a spaghetti feed fundraiser at the Branding Iron in Charlo. We are asking $8/plate or $20/family. If anyone has items they would like to donate for the silent auction, the items can be dropped off at the Branding Iron, or you can call 406-250-4722, for other arrangements. If you cannot attend the fundraiser and would like to donate monetary funds, there is a special account at Glacier Bank in Richard Blythes’ name. 

All donations will go directly to the Blythe family, as this effort is to help them gain as much financial footing as possible so they can rebuild their life and have a new home. Be on the lookout for a go-fund-me on Facebook, as that is yet another way to help. It is with much gratitude to Mission Valley Printing for making the fliers/posters to disseminate around the valley advertising this fundraiser. Lake County is a great community where people come together and willingly give a helping hand when needed, and for that, we thank you for your generosity. See you all at the spaghetti feed on Saturday, May 21, from 4-7 p.m. at the Branding Iron in Charlo. 

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