Woman plans fund-raiser for hurricane victims | SierraSun.com

Woman plans fund-raiser for hurricane victims

Christine Stanley

Gail Wahl turned on her television Tuesday night to find the newscast monopolized by images and stories of Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath. “It was tugging at my heart to do something, so I decided to start a relief effort in the name of Truckee,” she said.Wahl, who is a distributor for gourmet soy candle maker Mia Bella, will be selling her scented wares in front of the Albertsons in Truckee for $20 on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. She is also asking local businesses to match what she makes, or to make a flat donation.

Proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross in Truckee’s name, Wahl said.”Gail is a very giving and wonderful woman with a big heart,” said Gratitudes owner Julie Tenorio. “She told me what she was going to do with her product and I am certainly going to make a donation to her cause.”Julie Peters, a Truckee local who once lived in New Orleans, said she is also interested in setting up a fund-raiser in town. She will join Wahl at Albertsons from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday. She has asked that people interested in planning a larger effort speak to her then.”Some people have lost all that they own,” Peters said. “Others who had to leave their homes and evacuate have no idea what they are going to return to, and now there are looters.”

The mayor of New Orleans said Wednesday that he estimates thousands dead as a result of Hurricane Katrina and her aftermath.”We know there is a significant number of dead bodies in the water,” and other people dead in attics, Mayor Ray Nagin said. Asked how many, he said: “Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands.”It is estimated that more than 78,000 people have taken refuge in shelters, and the Bush administration declared a public health emergency on Wednesday for the entire Gulf Coast.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report. SIDEBARIf you are interested in making a donation, call Gail Wahl at 401-4251 or mail a check made out to the Red Cross to P.O. Box 1946, Truckee, CA 96160.