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Homeowner ‘overwhelmed’ with community support after fire ruins Centreville home

June Coleman works at Foote’s Farm Market and holds a fundraising jar for Amanda Lewis, who lost everything in a house fire July 7. “It’s such a tragedy,” said Coleman.
June Coleman works at Foote’s Farm Market and holds a fundraising jar for Amanda Lewis, who lost everything in a house fire July 7. “It’s such a tragedy,” said Coleman. - Sara Ericsson

Fundraising event set for July 26 at Centreville Community Hall

CENTREVILLE – Amanda Lewis is feeling the love as people in Centreville are coming together to raise funds to help her rebuild her life after losing everything in a house fire July 7.

Melissa Eye and several other of Lewis’ neighbours didn’t wait to make plans for a fundraiser for the young mom – they messaged over Facebook as flames soared higher than the subdivision’s tree line – because they knew she would need the help.

 “The whole subdivision was glowing – it was horrible. We knew we had to do something right away because it was that awful,” she said.

Lewis said this speedy outpouring of support has been both overwhelming and amazing.

Lewis’ house on Ladyslipper Drive in Centreville. She and her son were away when the fire happened.
Lewis’ house on Ladyslipper Drive in Centreville. She and her son were away when the fire happened.

“My son and I were away for the weekend and I packed one bag each for us. That’s all we have now – we lost it all. And so, I’m very, very, very thankful to everyone reaching out to help us,” she said.

Eye has organized an event on July 26 at the Centreville Community Hall from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to help raise funds for Lewis and her four-year-old son, Ayden.

The event will include a silent auction, bake sale items, a 50/50 draw and other to-be-determined activities, with all proceeds going towards helping Lewis rebuild her life. A donation jar has also been set up at Foote’s Farm Market in Centreville.

Finding she and Lewis share a mutual friend, Eye messaged telling her to hug Lewis and that a fundraiser was on its way.

“I just couldn’t believe it. I only moved to Centreville a year ago, and chose this place because I’d heard the community was a good one. They are really living up to that right now,” said Lewis.

Eye has also felt overwhelmed at the volume of support since organizing the event, with her and her husband Shawn’s cellphones ringing constantly with calls from more people wanting to help.

She said the decision to organize the event was a simple one for her and her neighbours, many of whom have kids the same age as Ayden.

“It could have been any of us. Picturing her son losing everything he knows – well, we just want to help them get back on their feet,” she said.

Eye said area residents, local businesses and even the young boy’s daycare have all stepped up and offered to help out in different ways, and that her husband Shawn Eye’s phone has been ringing off the hook with calls from more people wanting to volunteer and donate items.

With items like clothing, toys and books already having been collected for Lewis’ son, any donations like gift and grocery cards are appreciated.

“It’s been pretty overwhelming seeing how many people are coming together and are willing to help. It’s also humbling – there are still people who want to help, and who care,” said Eye.

Anyone wanting to help out or donate can contact Melissa Eye via the Facebook group set up for the fundraiser here.

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