TUPPER LAKE - Children swatted away black flies while fishing for rainbow trout in a stocked pond outside, while adults inside sampled the fare of four local chefs who were competing to win a cooking throwdown.
Saturday's fundraiser for flood victims held at the Big Tupper Ski Area was well attended, considering how many other events were scheduled for the weekend, said organizer Jim LaValley.
LaValley said the event was the first of at least two others that are being planned. He said the Wild Center museum is working on something to be held in August, and White Birch Cafe owner Jim Foti is hoping to get a fundraiser together that will include all the local restaurants.
Lisa Gillis and Steve Stevenson chat Saturday afternoon while children try to catch rainbow trout that were stocked in the pond next to the Big Tupper Ski Area lodge.
(Enterprise photo — Jessica Collier)
"The effort today doesn't end today," LaValley said. "This will continue for months ahead."
LaValley said some people who had homes and businesses damaged by flooding assume that they will get federal or state assistance, but he said they should assume they're not going to get any, and if they do, it will be very little.
That's why his group, Adirondack Residents Intent on Saving Their Economy, teamed up with the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce to hold this fundraiser.
In the days leading up to the event, LaValley said the group raised a few thousand dollars for the cause. He didn't yet have an estimate for how much was raised Saturday afternoon.
Organizers planned to put the money into a fund that would be distributed by local clergy members.
Several flood victims also showed up to get information from the various organizations and businesses set up there, LaValley said. Insurance companies were there to talk about flood insurance, banks appeared to talk about financing, village Code Enforcement Officer Pete Edwards was available to discuss with people what they need to do to bring their homes back up to code, Tupper Lake Supply was offering specials to flood victims who were rebuilding, and local charity Family Champions had an informational table set up.
Family Champions Executive Director Karen Pioli, who runs a donation and recycling center where people can get anything from beds to clothes, said she was starting to get a number of calls and visits from people who had flood damage. There were few at first, but as people start to assess what's gone and what they need to replace, they're calling to see what Pioli has at the Help Closet.