The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Fire destroys employee’s home, community pitches in

Safety and Security Officer John Booth’s house caught fire at 1 a.m. on January 28.

Lena Booth informed John Booth of the fire, who was on his night shift at the Campus Safety and Security Office, and rushed back to his house. The son, daughter and wife of John Booth, escaped unharmed, while the main floor of the house completely collapsed and the three family dogs died.

Firefighters came from surrounding towns—Brooklyn, Grinnell and Malcolm—to control the blaze.

The Booth family then moved in with relatives in Grinnell, and there are currently plans to either find the family a rental home or possibly rebuild on their property according to Vice President for Student Affairs, Houston Dougharty.

Dougharty, Deanna Shorb and Stephen Briscoe, met the following morning to discuss community wide support for the Booths. Their meeting brought the decision to create a donation account at the University of Iowa Credit Union, where monetary donations can be made.

Following a campus wide e-mail alerting the Grinnell community of the events that had transpired the college community began donating shirts, toys, jackets and furniture to the Booth family.

Town members also contributed to the support efforts for the Booth family. The Grinnell-Newberg Elementary Schools, which Mr. Booth’s son and daughter attend, are running fundraisers of their own for the family.

Student Organization of Latinos (SOL) originally wanted to do a fundraiser for Haiti, but decided to focus their efforts for the Booths.

“We’re doing a raffle with all the gift certificates and packages we have received from businesses in town, including La Cabana, Saints Bakery, Chung Garden, etc.,” said Maria Elena-Higg ’12. “We are also selling valentines for students to send to friends.”

The raffles will go on sale today outside the Dining Hall and run through next Saturday, with a drawing tentatively scheduled for next weekend.

This evening, the College’s football team and SGA will be sponsoring a fundraising night in Younker Hall on behalf of the Booth family. The festivities will begin at 7 p.m. and include pizza, soda and live music performed by guitarist Cody Weber ’13.

All money collected from both events will go to the Booth’s charity account at University of Iowa Credit Union.

Dougharty, Briscoe and Shorb wants the community to know that the Booths still need more support, whether in donations of food, clothes or furniture. Deanna Shorb, Director of Religious Life, said, “I hope simply for John, Lena and their daughter and son to be able to rebuild their lives in accordance with their desires. The entire community can be supportive of them on this journey.”

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