COOS BAY — Area residents gathered at 7 Devils Brewing Co. on Tuesday afternoon to drink a glass, or two, to help those affected by the Chetco Bar Fire and Hurricane Harvey.
7 Devils Owner Carmen Matthews said the fundraiser was organized with the idea that there are disasters occurring both in Coos Bay's backyard and beyond. That, and it was a fun way for the community to band together.
“Just watching things kind of go down around us we just wanted to make sure that we had a way to help even though we’re not directly in the line of fire or in the disaster area,” Matthews said.
The brewery, usually closed on Tuesdays, was packed Tuesday.
“We wanted to try to get as many people coming out as they're on their way to, hopefully, the Music on the Bay, and give them a place to wet their whistle and maybe get a bite to eat and do a little donation at the same time,” Matthews said.
Rick Cooper, President of North Bend Professional Firefighters, said he helped teach the Oregon National Guardsmen before they were deployed to the Chetco Bar Fire.
After a long day of teaching in Salem, he was talking with a group of guys about the devastation from the fires.
“Coming home I was thinking ‘man what can we do as an association to help those people?’” Cooper said.
So, he got in contact with 7 Devils owners Annie Pollard and Matthews.
The pair was on board with the fundraiser, donating all of the breweries sales to both the United Way of Greater Houston and the Humbold Foundation Victims of the Chetco Bar Fire Fund.
Employees and live bands donated their time as well.
Carly Otis was one of the employees who volunteered her time.
“It was just the right thing to do and I have the time to spare,” Otis said.
Outside, there was also a donation table where patrons could choose which charity they wanted to donate to.
Marcia Hart, Executive Director of United Way of Southwestern Oregon, was manning the donation table.
She said the community is incredibly helpful.
“7 Devils is just awesome that they stepped up,” Hart said.
Matthews said he hopes that the event shows that victims are being supported, even from as far away as Coos Bay.
“These unexpected events really make it hard for people to, as a whole community, bounce back at hopefully a sustainable rate,” Matthews said, “We’re hoping that even though this is just a small fundraiser we're able to show them that they have support even if it’s not right in front of them.”