Woman Challenges Community to Match her $25,000 Donation Towards Radio Tower

By Courtney Burris | cburris@krbc.tvg

Published 04/29 2014 06:27PM

Updated 04/29 2014 06:44PM

This area may have a shortage of water and a wildfire to contend with, but one thing that the Big Country is not running low on is community support. Susan Cottrell, like many, has been keeping a close eye on the fire. "I've been watching all the smoke from my backyard and praying it doesn't come to us."

Susan said she just finished running errands when she dropped by the Buffalo Gap Fire Department to see how she could help. "She's been the first person to stand up and say 'Where do I need to get this? You just send me in a direction!" explains volunteer coordinator, Misty Mason.

Before long, Susan realized she wanted to do more than run errands to help out. Once she learned of the radio communication tower that was lost in the blaze, she came up with a challenge for the community. "I dare you to bring $25,000 to the table and match me to get this tower up and going. We really really need it" says Cottrell.

A $25,000 donation and she does not want the credit. She says this is just a way to give back. "What I am offering is nothing compared to what these people are doing out here" says Cottrell.

Karie Wade is one of the people that have been doing so much. She is a volunteer firefighter with the Buffalo Gap V.F.D. She began fighting the blaze shortly after it began and knows what it is like out there without the radio tower.

"Not being able to communicate with one another is a little scary. I've got two kids at home and just thinking about them in the back of my mind the whole time" explains Wade.

Karie was maintaining a fire line when her crew had to go to another location to fight a fire that popped up, leaving her with no way to contact them. "If it pops up again, you need to be able to tell your truck to get back down to your location before it spreads any farther and not being able to do that- you are just out there with a shovel and some dirt. It can mean the difference between losing someone's home and saving it" says Wade.

And as for Karie's reaction to Susan's $25,000 donation? "I have never met her until five minutes ago, but I love her already! She's got a big hear and I cannot imagine just walking up and giving that much of your own money to strangers..there are no words."

The radio communications tower will cost somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000 to rebuild.
If you would like to donate money towards the tower, click here.

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