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Event raises thousands for families in need after Polk County brush fire

Feb. fire scorched 5,500 acres, destroyed homes
Posted at 11:28 PM, Mar 09, 2017

Community members and organizers with the Triple Canopy Ranch in Polk County are raising money to help several families who lost their homes in last month's devastating brush fire. 

"Everything I've acquired over 30 years, everything's gone," said David Clark, who's mobile home on S.R. 60 was destroyed in the fire. 

For a man who has lost so much, including his late wife's ashes, Clark refuses to let it get him down. 

"I'm just thankful I wasn't in there sleeping when it came through," said Clark. 

That raging brush fire that burned more than 5,500 acres along S.R. 60 and C.R. 360 in Polk County, destroyed everything on Clark's 3-acre, secluded property in Lake Wales. 

The fire left him with nothing more than the clothes on his back. 

"We just really want to make a difference in these families' lives in this devastating time," said Steely Keys, who helped organize Thursday night's fundraiser. 

Triple Canopy Ranch hosted a fundraiser for the victims of last month's fire. 

"We just really want to make a difference in these families' lives in this devastating time," said Steely Keys, who helped organize Thursday night's fundraiser. 

Money generated from ticket sales, raffles, and a silent auction will help families in need rebuild or find a new place to live. 

Organizers tell ABC Action News, the event raised more than $8,000 and they've also set up a GoFundMe account to raise addition funds. 

"It's a really tight-knit community so we just felt it was the right thing to do," said Keys. 

It's a big help for many people now forced to start all over. 

"I'm really thankful they're doing something out here," said Clark. "It's really nice that the community really comes together."

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