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Benefit set for family whose home was destroyed by Irene’s fury

Just hours after floodwaters Kris and Kathie Erceg’s home was swept off its foundation by Tropical Storm Irene, their son Nick yanks at some debris that slammed against the house, which was later condemned. A fundraiser party is being held from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday Oct. 15 to raise money to help the family relocate after the devastating loss — insurance did not cover the destruction.

Just hours after floodwaters Kris and Kathie Erceg’s home was swept off its foundation by Tropical Storm Irene, their son Nick yanks at some debris that slammed against the house, which was later condemned. A fundraiser party is being held from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday Oct. 15 to raise money to help the family relocate after the devastating loss — insurance did not cover the destruction. Photo by Thom Randall.

— Just seven weeks ago, with a wall of floodwater pushing his house off its foundation, Kris Erceg opened the rear door to his house’s garage, and the rush of water swept through his garage in a raging torrent.

Meanwhile, his wife Kathie was watching their shed, their children’s swing set and other family belongings tumble downstream in floodwaters 12 feet higher than normal, prompted by the heavy rains dumped on the area by Tropical Storm Irene.

Their house groaned as it was ripped off its concrete-block basement which was filled with water.

Their teenage children helped pump out the basement and protect their younger brother from tree limbs and debris tumbling toward the house down the swollen river.

Years earlier, the Ercegs were told they weren’t in a flood zone and didn’t need specialized insurance.

The day after the flood, they found their $300,000 home and landscape they’d worked so hard to build and develop was a total loss — it was officially condemned — and they’d have to continue to pay a mortgage on a destroyed property.

Saturday Oct. 15, people from all walks of life are likely to be attending a fundraiser for Kris and Kathie, showing compassion for the loss of their homestead in “The Hollow,” near Bradley Road in Lake George.

Just like the friends and neighbors who rallied to help them out as the floodwaters were receding, and save most of their first-floor belongings and family heirlooms, boxing them up and carrying them out to safety.

The fundraiser is set for noon to 9 p.m. Oct. 15 at Duffy’s Tavern, primarily on the on the venue’s second floor. The benefit event is being held in conjunction with Duffy’s Irish Festival, which will be underway on the first floor.

The Erceg fundraiser will include a variety of donated items and services, and a 50-50 raffle. The Irish Festival will feature a bounce house, a leprechaun character, Irish games and music.

Duffy’s will also be hosting noted entertainers Bobby Dick and Suzy Q.

The fundraiser is being planned and organized by the staff of Carriage Traders in South Glens Falls, where Kris is employed as sales manager.

All are welcome to attend.

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