After losing virtually everything to a house fire, a Lehighton couple received a boost on Sunday from the community.
Jackie Neff, who didn't even know Derrick and Bobbie Jo Flexer and their seven-month-old daughter. Peyton, before the fundraiser, inspired the community to help raise funds for the family at the Flexer Family Fundraiser.
The event was held Sunday at the Lehighton Recreation Center.
The couple lost everything on April 9, when their side of a double home was destroyed due their neighbor's electrical problem. The young couple were renting to own and had no insurance.
"It's a double whammy," said Derrick. "We were trying to buy."
They have been staying with Bobbie Jo's mother while they save up to buy another home.
"We're having trouble renting because of our pets," said Derrick. "That is why we want to buy a home."
Their pets were saved from the fire by passers-by who were able to remove the dogs. Neither Derrick and Bobbie Jo were home when the fire started. He was at the gym and Bobbie Jo was taking the baby for a walk around town that warm evening.
"This is just amazing," said Derrick. "We lost everything. There are no words to say how grateful we are for what they are doing for us. And they don't even know us."
Derrick said that any funds raised are going toward the down payment on a home.
He said that he is also grateful that his daughter is so young she will not remember this difficult time.
For Jackie Neff, the fundraiser was something that needed to be done.
"I like to help at different events," she said. "I know how to put things together. Everything here was donated by the community because the Flexers always have supported the community."
Verona's Pizza donated 100 percent of their sales in pizza they provided for the benefit to sell, Dunkin donated 12 dozen donuts to be sold at the event, Zimmerman's Dairy donated 1/2 the drinks purchased for the event (five crates), Country Inn & Suites donated 10 pool passes for the hotel swimming pool, Tom Evans and Lehighton Recreational Center donated the entire inside/outside to host the event, Ritas of Lehighton donated 21 free Rita's ice vouchers. Also donating food were Grumpy's BBQ of Allentown, Mama and Pop's Kettle Corn and Dutch Family Funnel Cake of Parryville Fire Co.
There were also zumba classes. Zumba with Monica Lozano and Danielle Lindenmoyer both donated all proceeds and their time. The Penn State Nittany Lion greeted guests, Bounce House Inc. and Buster the Clown entertained and there were also vendors, Erica Muscovitch, Barbara Raub, Jamie Graver, Annette Williams, Joan Radler, Shannon Sims, Michele Jacobs, Cheryl Curran, Melodie Kleintop, Sheila Wertman, and Tonia Schaeffer.
Neff said that she also had the support of several volunteers, Amanda Kresge, Jenn Sterling, Jackie Neff, Drew Salmons, Rosanne Hoats, Karen Flexer, The Flexer Family, Melodie Kleintop, Jen Reppert, Lance Stein, and Bobbi Jo Shaffer.
"The turnout was wonderful and funds are still being collected for the meat raffle tickets sponsored by Heintzelman's Meat Market and Pizza Hut Flexer family night held June 3.