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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Legion helping area family displaced by fire

Friday, March 13, 2009

A fundraiser is being held Sunday at the American Legion Post to help a Brazil family rebuild their home after a fire destroyed a portion of it on Feb. 9. Members of the Durbin family are (front left) children Steven and Kiaya Jasper, (back left) Steve, son Jasper and wife Sherry. Courtesy Photo.
* Fundraiser planned for Sunday, at noon

A local organization is helping a Brazil family rebuild their home after a fire destroyed a portion of it.

On afternoon of Feb. 9, Steve and Sherry Durbin's home, located at 621 N. Vandalia St., caught fire, destroying the living room and dining room areas and the extreme heat caused damage to all the other parts of the home.

No one was home at the time of the incident.

But when Steve got the call about the fire, he admits to initially thinking the worst.

"I was expecting the worst. There was a fire when I was a kid and we lost the home. It burnt to the ground," Steve told The Brazil Times. "But when I arrived and saw only the window was busted out, I was relieved. I thought 'We can fix this.'"

The American Red Cross initially helped the Durbin family, but there is a lot of costly work to do when rebuilding a home.

"Damages have been estimated at $12,000-$15,000, but I think it can be done for about $10,000," Steve said. "We will be doing the repairs ourselves, as much as possible."

On Sunday, March 15, American Legion Post No. 2, 1013 S. Forest Ave., Brazil, will be holding a benefit to raise the funds so the family can purchase building materials like drywall, insulation and electrical wiring.

Starting at noon, there will be a fish fry (until all the fish is gone), bake sale of homemade candy, cookies, pies and cakes along with door prizes, raffles and pull tabs throughout the day.

Hoosier Daddy Karaoke will also be available from 1-5 p.m.

Tammy Young, who has helped organize other similar fundraising benefits in the past, has a special interest in seeing this one succeed.

"They're family," Young said about her nephew, his wife and their three children, who are living at different places until repairs are completed at their home. "I'm a big supporter of family and community."

During these economic hard times, Young said she was amazed at the outpouring of support for this event.

"No matter where we went, everybody we have asked was like, 'Sure, we'd be love to help.' It's been wonderful. This is what makes Americans great, that even when times are tough we reach out to help others. We still have donations coming in. I'll be giving away door prizes every half hour on Sunday."

The support of the fundraiser confirms Steve's faith in his hometown.

"I've always liked Brazil. It's a good town," Steve said. "I want to thank everyone that has helped us. It makes me feel good inside that the (residents and businesses) in the town I live in are willing to help my family."

For pick-ups of furniture donations or to make financial donations so the family can replace items lost in the fire, call Steve at 812-201-8177 or Tammy at 443-5761.

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