Nightclub nets $10K for Washoe Fire victims |

Nightclub nets $10K for Washoe Fire victims

Ryan Salm/Sierra SunJackie Nourse and Laura Roselle give a name tag to Chief Duane Whitelaw of the North Tahoe Fire Protection District at the Pete N Peter's firefighter appreciation party Monday.

Tahoe City’s Pete N Peter’s demonstrated Monday evening just what it means to be a community.

The bar hosted an appreciation night for local firefighters and raised exactly $10,000 to donate to the five families who lost their homes in the Aug. 18 Washoe Fire on Tahoe’s West Shore.

“I was really surprised by how well we did,” said Pete N Peter’s co-owner David “Johnny B” Rutter. “This community is so generous when it comes to stepping up to the plate and helping other people.”

The money raised came not only from individual donations. The restaurant’s bar earmarked the evening’s profits as contributions to the fire victims.

“For the five families that lost their homes, there’s nothing more devastating. A community like Tahoe City is probably the most gracious a community I’ve ever seen,” Rutter said. “This is our way of giving back.”

Firefighters, Placer Sheriff’s officials, U.S. Coast Guard seamen, dozens of area residents and several Washoe Fire victims filled Pete N Peter’s and the surrounding patio area.

Over the course of the evening, Rutter estimated that somewhere between 300 and 400 people dropped by.

One firefighter came not just for the free beer that Pete N Peter’s offered rescue personnel, but for the camaraderie.

“The North Shore is a great community and I really appreciate the support I get both as a ranger and as a firefighter. I’m always amazed how much this community comes together to support … anything. That you don’t see many places,” said Heidi Doyle, volunteer firefighter with the Meeks Bay Fire Protection District and a California State Park ranger.

The hardest part of fundraising is determining how to dole out the money, Rutter said.

Because several families were affected by the fire that burned five homes to the ground on Tahoe Woods Boulevard and Washoe Way, Rutter said they would find a way to be most fair.

“We’re going to do it on an equal basis,” he said.

But Sohail and Kenan Malik, who just closed escrow on their Tahoe Woods Boulevard home about six weeks ago, said they wanted to share their portion of the donation with the other families.

Washoe Way homeowners Steve and Sally Osbourne also declined the gesture and are choosing to donate their portion of the funds raised Monday to their three renters, Emily Robbins, Paul Brunk and John Hazdel.

Pete N Peter’s will take care of writing the victims checks to be used however they want.

Rutter commended not only the community’s outpouring of support Monday, but also the response of fire, rescue and law-enforcement responders at the Washoe Fire.

“First, it was a firefighter appreciation night … Second of all, it’s our way of giving back to the community. And hopefully more businesses will follow suit,” he said.

“All the agencies just did an incredible job; it could have very easily been another Angora Fire.”

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