ARISE to host fundraiser for flood victims

A local community action group is planning a fundraiser for victims of recent flooding in and around Tupper Lake.

ARISE - Adirondack Residents Intent on Saving their Economy - will host a fundraiser from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 21 at the Big Tupper Ski Area.

State and federal emergency management officials say flooding has caused more than $10 million in Franklin County alone. That number is expected to increase as flood waters continue to recede.

The ARISE event aims to accomplish two goals. For starters, organizers hope to provide education, information, and aid to homeowners and businesses whose properties were damaged by flooding of the Raquette River watershed.

Jim LaValley is chairman of ARISE.

"Tupper Lake supply will be on hand, and they will be offering sort of deferred payment programs for materials," LaValley said. "We have a couple of banks that have set up some special loan programs for the flood victims. We'll have insurance companies, and we're hoping to have a representative from the Federal Emergency Management Agency there as well."

But LaValley says the event will also be lighthearted and fun, as many residents are seeking a sense of normalcy after the last two weeks.

"We'll have some music, we have a throw-down cooking contest that's planned, we're going to have a fishing contest for kids 10 and under," he said. "It's still evolving at this point, but it should be a real fun day."

LaValley says the informative aspect of the fundraiser is important, because most residents and business owners were unprepared for flooding of this magnitude.

The Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce is also planning to host a telethon to take donations for flood relief.

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