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Big crowd shows up in Boulder County, including Marshall Fire victims, to help those affected by Maui wildfire

Marshall Fire victims show signs of support for those affected by Maui Fire
Marshall Fire victims show signs of support for those affected by Maui Fire 03:13

A crowd including many Marshall Fire victims showed up in force at Upslope Brewing in Boulder Thursday night to raise money for the victims of the fire on the Hawaiian island of Maui.


 "It's tough to empathize with something that extreme if you haven't been through it yourself," said Matt Cutter, owner of Upslope Brewing.

Cutter, along with Adam Dulye, executive chef of the Brewers Association, generated the idea of the Marshall to Maui benefit to help over a beer just a few weeks ago.

"We gave ourselves 48 hours to see if we could figure out how to make it work," said Dulye.

They put it together in the back lot of the brewery. Marshall Together, an organization of Marshall Fire victims, showed up to support it.

"I truly cannot imagine what that experience must have been like," said Reina Pomeroy about the fire that tore through Lahaina. She lost her home in Louisville to the Marshall Fire.

A worker is seen in the fire-ravaged town of Lahaina on the Hawaiian island of Maui on Aug. 22, 2023. Gao Shan/Xinhua via Getty Images

"I'm hoping that we'll deploy with After the Fire," she said about a desire to head to Maui to help.

In the early stages after the Marshall Fire, After the Fire, a California based organization that grew out of tragedies on the West Coast, came to Colorado to offer help and advice.

"You don't know what you don't know until you've gone through it and you are past it," she said.

Marshall Fire victims say they are glad to offer the same. The Marshall Fire victims, she believes, were better able to get help from local and state government quickly. Things like basics and housing. There are likely to be far more challenges in Hawaii.

"Just all of those ways that an island is different from a community like Boulder, the Boulder County community."

Ellen Berry has learned a great deal. Initially FEMA denied many people with insurance. But fire victims need FEMA numbers for other purposes. Government help is a maze at times.

"And then they want you to use all of your insurance first and the insurance takes forever, it can be so hard," she said. "I'm still like a year and a half into it, I'm still doing paperwork, I'm still filling things out."

Money collected will go to Maui Brewing, which has devoted some of its property to help victims and is hosting an aid center.

"I think one of the biggest things that we all learned from going through it is a lot of people need access to cash," said Dulye.

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