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A Community That Eats Together: A Grizzly Feast Embraces Those Impacted By Caldor Fire

A grizzly feast community dinner welcomes Grizzly Flat residents and others who have lost so much in the wake of the Caldor Fire to a free, family-style dinner in which guests will be treated to a delectable menu with all the trimmings, including dessert.

Nearly three months after the Caldor Fire blazed through much of El Dorado County and nearly decimated Grizzly Flat, the greater community of El Dorado Count is still finding ways to support those displaced by the devastation.

Jennifer Mckim, a 20-year El Dorado County resident and Grizzly Flat displaced homeowner had an idea that came to her seemingly out of the blue that has since grown into a full-blown event with multiple community partners involved.

Although she refuses to take credit for pulling the event together she seems to be the ringleader of this effort, according to most partners contacted by the mountain democrat.

"Driving my son to and from school is usually a time when I'm thinking and processing," said McKim, who is currently residing in Plymouth while making plans to rebuild in Grizzly Flat. "A commercial came on the radio and it said, 'what are your plans for the holidays?' and, I thought, the holidays were supposed to be at my house this year and my house isn't an option, obviously."

Then it hit her: what were all the members of the community going to do for the holidays? The question persisted in her mind. While having a friendly conversation with Wendy Thomas at a barbecue one day she expressed a desire to have a community event just to get everyone together and give thanks and show support for one another, she said.

"In the end I foresee Grizzly Flat coming together and being bigger, better, and stronger," she said. "I just want to help the community see past the darkness and understand that there is hope for us in the future."

Mckim has lived in Grizzly Flat with her small family for two years after spending more than 18 years in somerset. She immediately fell in love with the community, she said. "I think it is incredibly important for individuals to come and see how much support we have for one another," she said. "I am really encouraged and hopeful for the event."

District 3 supervisor Wendy Thomas knew McKim from previous encounters and their interactions grew into a friendship.

"I met Jennifer McKim at a community gathering and was in awe of her strength, spirit, and her ability to pull people together," said Thomas. "When I heard that she wanted to do a Thanksgiving dinner for anyone who lost their home in the Caldor Fire, I asked how I could help."

"With Thanksgiving and the holidays coming, there are so many who will not have a place to celebrate and our community is stepping up to help," said more executive director Susie Davies. "We want every family to know that so many are ready to help in whatever capacity that they need help."

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