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Peshtigo Fire
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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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1-30-13frontgrabian.jpg

HELPING HANDS—Faith and Nevaeh Tebo of Menominee are shown holding cups of hot chocolate, the beverage that helped them raise over $2,300 on Saturday, Jan. 26 for the J. P. Grabian family of rural Peshtigo. With them in the photo are, left to right, Cole Grabian, 9; J. P. Grabian and his wife, Ellen, and daughter Paris Grabian, 7. The money was raised in a single day by selling hot chocolate at the Habitat For Humanity’s “Restore” on Cleveland Ave. in Marinette. The girls, aged seven and nine, came up themselves with the chocolate stand idea, but their mother, Cassie Tebo, helped make it a reality. The Grabian family had lost their house and all its possessions in a fire that struck their home while they were at church on Sunday, Jan. 20.

Girls Raise $2,300 For Fire Victims

It is often said that tragedy can bring people together. That was the case after the J. P. Grabian family lost its Town of Peshtigo home and all its possessions in a fire on Sunday morning, Jan. 20. The entire area stepped forward almost immediately.

The Red Cross provided the family with clothing and emergency shelter at a local hotel. Not long after that, neighbors opened their home to the Grabians and provided space for the mounting pile of donations that began coming in for them - clothing, household goods, food, toys, cash and whatever else someone thought they might need.

In Menominee, the Tebo family heard about the fire, and felt a personal connection. Cassie Tebo and Ellen Grabian had worked together a few years ago. Wanting to help, Cassie asked her daughter Nevaeh to go through her things and select clothes she could give to Paris Grabian.

While busy sorting, Nevaeh had an idea. She thought they could do something more, and asked her mom if they could have a hot chocolate stand. She thought it was really cold out, and people would like that. She was right. Mom readily agreed.

“I was just so touched and proud and thought, ‘Of course I want to help’,” declared Cassie.

At first they thought they’d just have a small stand, but the idea grew and they decided to get as many people involved as possible. Arrangements were made to put the stand at the Restore, and Cassie helped her daughters run the operation, which offered hot chocolate with marshmallows for one dollar, plus baked goods were offered for sale.

At the end of the day the Tebo sisters had served 297 customers, and raised over $2,300.

“I don’t know if I can really say enough,” declared Ellen Grabian. “You can just really see the Lord working.” She described the feeling of being cared for by the community: “You feel like you’re in a blanket”

“I do feel like I’m in a blanket and we are able to focus on our family and the things that we need and they’re all taking care of everything else,” Grabian agreed.

“It makes me feel really good and it’s like,...It’s really happy that we did this stuff,” said Faith. Both girls said it’s much better to give than to receive.


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Peshtigo, WI 54157
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