Weld pulls together to fund house for fire victims


WELD – People throughout Franklin County have come together this week in support of the Weld family that lost their house to a fire nearly two weeks ago. From the folks at the Wilton’s Food City, to Bradbury’s Market in Carthage, to the Rainbow Caf at Mt. Blue High School, offers of help are coming in from around the area.

But none has given so much as those in the tiny town of Weld – population 413.

Former Weld Constable Lee Buck and his wife, Sue, who was at work in Augusta when the fire broke out last week, lost nearly everything they owned in the fire, including irreplaceable photographs of the two children they raised in town. One of the oldest homes in town, the Bucks’ house burned so quickly firefighters who arrived on the scene just a few minutes after Buck called them were unable to do anything to save the house.

Almost immediately after the fire, Weld community members started planning a benefit turkey dinner for the Bucks, to be held this Friday. The proceeds of the supper, along with small amount of insurance money the family will receive and donations, already pouring in, of time, money, materials and expertise from local people, will be used to build the Bucks a new home on their current lot.

The house will be built “totally for free,” Minear said, aside from whatever money the Bucks can glean from their insurance company, she added.

Jerry and Dot Nering, who own the General Store in town, are not only donating two turkeys for tonight’s benefit supper, but are cooking them, too, and encouraging thirsty townspeople to avail themselves of free coffee and fixings from the store.

“When somebody needs help, you help ’em – that’s what living in a community’s all about – you help your neighbors,” explained Jerry Nering.

And the women from the University of Maine at Farmington Daytime Extension Homemakers decided to donate the money budgeted for their annual trip to the Bucks’ fund.

“Gosh, you know, instead of us spending money on ourselves, why don’t we vote money for the Bucks. Everybody was in immediate agreement – let’s give the $200 to the Buck’s,” explained extension member Claudina Bechtel.