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Fundraiser set for Watertown house fire victim

Xavier Smith • Mar 14, 2017 at 2:20 PM

A fundraiser for a Watertown Middle School worker whose house was destroyed during this month’s storms is set for next month at the school.

The Rena Cook house fire fundraiser is set for April 1, from noon until 5 p.m. in the Watertown Middle School cafeteria. The fundraiser will consist of a silent auction and chili dinner.

Cook’s home caught on fire during a March 1 storm due to a power surge. Cook, an 11-year employee in the school’s cafeteria, said she recalls the electricity going out before she left her 7-year-old home to work at the school that morning.

Buffy, her dog, died in the fire. The dog was a Christmas present from her late husband, Mike, who died after the couple built the home. Cook also said her 15-year-old dog died last summer.

Cook said the fire destroyed the home and probably left only a handful of salvageable clothes. She said she lost all physical items relative to her late husband and son, including a room dedicated to her son that featured angel figurines.

“In the past, Rena has helped so many people with benefits, so because of that, she’s well loved, and we know the community will give back, because she’s already done it for other people,” said supervisor Tammi Brewster, who said Cook has helped orchestrate at least four fundraisers in the community.

“The town had a big benefit for me 16 years ago when my son passed away. He was in the hospital six months, and they did a benefit for me to raise money so I could stay at the hospital with him. So, it was kind of a way to try and pay back for what everybody had done to help me,” Cook said.

The school is looking for donations for the fundraiser. Items sought include silent auction items, Crock Pots of chili, cups, bowls, napkins, tea, bottles of water, crackers, shredded cheese, sour cream and spoons.

To donate items or for more information, contact Amanda Swann at 615-517-4724, Amy Johnson at 615-574-5930, Tracy Taylor at 615-406-1949, Alishia Poss at 615-428-1435 or Kim Clark at 615-416-0753.

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