8A | SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2018 | SIUSLAW NEWS PLAQUE from page 1A The city was willing to work with the group, offering an undeveloped space on Bay Street for the project. Cavar- no and his associates took the city up on the offer and began the process of soliciting dona- tions to build an appropriate tribute to Florence’s veteran community. “We ran into so many ob- stacles and stumbling blocks and we had to get seven different permits, I believe it was, along the way,” Cavar- no said. “The Army Corps of Engineers really hung us up because we were dealing with the river and the wa- ter used to come half way up the parking lot, so we had a lot of work to do to make this happen. Now the Veteran’s Memorial Park Commission has a perpetual agreement, for 99 years, to have this park here and we agreed we would take care of it during that time.” The Veteran’s Memori- al Park has grown from its original humble beginnings DUPLEX FIRE from page 1A According to SVFR/WLAD Interim Chief Director Steve Able, the agencies received the first call about the structure fire at 11:33 p.m. Nov. 14. “Upon arrival a few min- utes later, SVFR Duty Chief Liz Iabichello found the sec- ond story of the duplex fully engulfed in flames,” Able said. “After ensuring that the oc- cupant of the lower unit was safely evacuated, she directed fire crews to contain the fire to the involved unit, limiting the spread of the fire.” WLAD paramedics evalu- ated Roach and found him to be uninjured, then stood by to care for any firefighter in- juries. Four engines, two chief officers, support vehicles and a total of 20 firefighters were on scene throughout the night. The fire was contained to the upper living unit, which is considered a total loss, with the lower unit suffering water and smoke damage. Because the upper unit was unoccu- pied, the fire progressed rap- idly before being noticed by neighbors, who notified the fire department. “The cause of the fire is still being investigated but is be- lieved to be of accidental or- igin. There were no injuries,” Able added. Roach is retired and dis- abled, and well-liked by his neighbors, who nicknamed him the “get-it-done-guy” because of the help he gives neighbors with project and repairs. Roach also has a good relationship with property owner Vance Nelson, who had worked out an arrangement for Roach to act as an unoffi- cial caretaker for the property in exchange for a reduced rent. But after seven years, that ar- rangement is now at an end as Roach, whose financial situ- ation is tenuous at best, now has to find a place to live on his limited income. He said the event has shak- en him up, but that he has re- ceived some assistance with temporary housing from the Red Cross. “They put me at a hotel, but I’m not sure how long that will last,” Roach said. “I’m disabled and am working on getting some help from SOS (Siuslaw Outreach Services) because my clothes and most of my stuff got ruined by water and smoke damage.” His neighbor, Rachel, set up a GoFundMe fundraising page with Roach’s permission to help assist in his relocation and, hopefully, replacing his possessions damaged during the fire. “George Roach is known to to an impressive and respect- ful monument to those who served. There are flags from all five military services at the park and large panels display the names of service mem- bers and their dates of ser- vice. These panels can be pur- chased by friends and family for $75, which pays for a brick with the service person’s name carved into the block and then adhered to the wall panels. “President Reagan is on the wall, and we have three Med- al of Honor recipients and 20 Civil War Soldiers on the wall,” Cavarno said. “But none are more important than any of the others. They all served their country and we honor their service.” Cavarno was originally con- cerned that the plaque might have simply fallen and been picked up by a passerby, but the material used to adhere the brass plaque was extreme- ly robust and that scenario seems unlikely. “I put that plaque and the other service plaques up my- self,” he said. “I went to Pro Lumber and I told them what I wanted to do, and I said I want the very best product you have. It’s nine years since we dedicated this park and those service emblems are still up there, so I am sure it didn’t just fall down. Somebody took it.” According to Cavarno, the original group of volunteers who built and maintained the park has given way to a larger group comprised of members from many local veterans’ groups. “Over the years we have gotten a lot of help from the American Legion, the DAV (Disabled American Veter- ans), the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) and the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars). We take turns coming down here every month to maintain the park, and Mike Miller from the city has also done a lot of work to help us maintain the park,” he said. Local veterans, as well as Cavarno, are determined to replace the plaque, but first funds must be raised to have another created. “I can’t believe someone always be there to help. He is the greatest neighbor I’ve had,” Rachel said on the GoFund- Me page. “I’m grateful for the fire department showing up so quickly and for being so helpful to George. It’s so sad to see him so broken. He put so much work into that house. It was his pride and joy. He thought he would live out the rest of his life there. Now he is faced with starting all over.” Richard Weinhold, another of Roach’s neighbors, has not only contributed to Roach’s fund but also encourages others to help out his friend and neighbor. “He is such a helpful and friendly guy and a friend to an- imals too — having first shel- tered and then reunited a cat who fled a fire in the RV park with its Canadian family. … Now George is the fire victim,” Weinhold said in a comment posted on the page. Anyone who would like to assist George Roach can do so by visiting his GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/ nzjsqw-help-georgerebuild?fb clid=IwAR1BLbraoTaYjIXAT_ QjM5pXew7Mr6vjX2IilBARw TnCwPGCbjjP-osgzkM. S IUSLAW N EWS would take it down, but they did, so we are going to have to buy a new one,” Cavarno said. “We are going to have to go back through the records to see where we ordered it from and how much it cost, because the plaque belongs up there.” He had one more thing to say before it gets to that point. “I would ask that whomever took it to return it,” he plead- ed. “Please give me a call and tell me where you are going to put it and when. I don’t care who you are at this point. I would like the plaque back be- cause this hurts a lot of peo- ple and these are people that served our country.” Cavarno also said If peo- ple want to help replace the plaque, they can make a do- nation to the Veteran’s Me- morial Park Commission and they should specify that the donation is for the plaque, so it doesn’t go into the general fund that is used for bricks and other donations. To help with the replace- ment of the plaque stolen from Veteran’s Park, call Ca- varno at 541-997-1677. Submit nominations now for annual Siuslaw Awards The 12th annual Siuslaw Awards event is fast approach- ing. The awards banquet, spon- sored by the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce, will take place Wednesday, Jan. 23, at the Florence Events Center. This event recognizes ex- cellence in the local business community by naming recip- ients for awards in: Excellence in Customer Service, Curb Ap- peal, Non-Profit Achievement, Community Caring, Innova- tion in Business and the Stu Johnston Business of the Year Award. The Chamber will also rec- ognize an individual or busi- ness that has selflessly given of their time and efforts in sup- porting the Chamber and its efforts with the Distinguished Service Award. Two outstanding individuals in the community will be hon- ored with the Future First Citi- zen Award and the First Citizen Award. The First Citizen Award recognizes that individual who Florence Food Share provides food to those who are hungry in our community. If you have four hours a week available, we are in need of vol- unteers to staff our Front Desk and also act as Guides as clients walk through the pantry. Please call our volunteer coordinator, Sarah Lovejoy, @ 541-997-9110 (Monday – Friday, before noon) to learn more about volunteering. info@lorence- foodshare.org 2190 Spruce Street. has given selflessly to the com- munity based on community involvement, leadership and overall community impact. The Future First Citizen Award recognizes that student based on his or her academic success as well as civic involve- ment and contributions to the community. Anyone can choose to nomi- nate their own or another busi- ness for the Siuslaw Awards. Applications are available now either at the Florence Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center or online at www.florencecham- ber.com. Nominations must be sub- mitted to the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce by Nov. 28. First Citizen and Future First Citizen nomination forms are available through area ser- vice clubs on Friday, Nov. 30, and are due back to the Cham- ber by Friday, Dec. 21. For more information, call Florence Area Chamber of Commerce at 541-997-3128. Volunteer Get involved Florence Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a place to put your talents to work. From customer service to furniture repair, we offer volunteer opportunities geared toward individual interests and skills.By giving your time, you help Florence Habitat ReStore do more to support building projects that benefi t families in our community. 2016 Hwy 101 or email volunteer@fl orencehabitat.org Store hours 9am – 5pm Monday- Saturday 541-997-5834 www.facebook.com/restorefl orence Buying or Selling? I can help. Donate Do your part and volunteer today to help support Join the Peace Harbor Hospital Volunteers. <RXZLOOÀQGDQDUHDRILQWHUHVW in a caring organization. Peace Harbor Volunteers Jan Jagoe Broker 541 999-0879 non-proft organizations in 400 9th Street, Florence, OR 97439 541-997-8412 ext. 2218 91 Windleaf Way – Beautiful .31 acre lot in the wonderful community of Heceta South. This is a great opportunity to build your dream home close to the beach. Seller is willing to carry, so bring us an offer and start planning your future in Flor- ence. $68,000. #2797-18615048 these local our community! 1749 Highway 101 • 541-997-1200 Meals on Wheels are available to people over the age of 60 who cannot get out much due to illness or advanced age and who are not eating properly, regardless of income. Cafe 60 is available for those who prefer to make new friends in a dining room setting. 1570 Kingwood • PO Box 2313, Florence 541-997-5673 laneseniormeals.org Operating Monday, Wednesday and Friday Volunteer Get involved Celebrate Th anksgiving Day with us!! Serving until 2:00pm Take Home Dinners Available Menu includes: Roasted Turkey breast with mashed potatoes, gravy, yams, sausage and sage stuffi ng, dinner roll and apple pie bars Th anksgiving Dinner Do your part and volunteer today to help support these local non-proft $22 organizations in (Gratuity not included) our community! per person Please reserve “take home” by Monday 11/20 1201 35th St. Florence, Or. 97439 541-997-1940 Donate Pick up times: Wednesday from 2-5pm and Th ursday before 2 Reservations required at 541-997-1940 Ex. 5 Saving men one PSA test at a time. 541-997-6626 firstname.lastname@example.org Someone to talk to... who understands! To include your organization in this directory, please call us @ 541-997-3441 Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the deadline for Press Releases is Monday by noon for both edi- tions of the Siuslaw News this week. Email PressReleases@TheSiuslawNews.com.