Updated: Jun 28
Just last Friday, we were getting ready to welcome our Father's Day weekend guests as things took an unexpected turn. Due to the local Backbone Fire, the towns of Strawberry was quickly evacuated as the fire began to spread toward our town and neighboring Pine, AZ. The last week has been uncertain to say the least for all residents and businesses located in the area. The outpouring of love we have received from other communities and individuals on social media, phone calls, and emails has been so heartwarming and appreciated. The graciousness of our guests who we've had to postpone has not gone unappreciated either.
Though we are sad that our rooms and cabins are sitting empty this week, we are BEYOND GRATEFUL to host and accommodate firefighters over the progression of the fire. It feels good knowing that we can bring these heroes a little bit of comfort in exchange for all they are doing to help protect our community.
Aside from the well wishes and the prayers we've been receiving that have warmed our hearts, the most common inquiry we have been getting is "how can I help?" We are so overwhelmed by the support and outreach, that we wanted to make it easy for those wanting to get involved!
Shop our Online Store:
All proceeds of sales made on our online shop are going toward helping support the businesses and community in Pine & Strawberry to help with the affects of the fire. We have some of our best selling merchandise items as well as decor, our luxury sheets, and more for sale. If you'd rather just make a donation, we also have a listing for a relief payment in the amount of $25 or $200.
Donate to the Pine Strawberry Food Bank:
We have loved partnering with the local food bank for years. Their upcoming food distribution is taking place on July 6th and we are collecting canned goods and non-perishables for them so that they have plenty of food to support the community when we are able to return. Below is a list of needed items:
(50) Peanut Butter Jars
(100) Jelly Jars
(100) Canned Tuna / Canned Chicken
(100) Soup Cans
(100) Canned Fruit / Veggies
(100) Boxed Crackers
(100) Packages of Cookies
If you feel inclined to donate, you can do so at either of our drop-off locations Friday, June 25 until 5pm, or Monday, June 28 - Wednesday, June 30 from 9am-5pm. We have already made a dent in this list, as well as donations over $1,000 in less than 24 hrs!
Scottsdale drop-off location: Hayden & Indian Bend - email for address
Fountain Hills drop-off location: Fountain Hills Blvd & E Palisades Blvd - email for address
If you are unable to drop off food items, you can also Venmo a donation to @thestrawberryinn. (please notate "food pantry" in the transaction!)
Valley Restaurant Fundraiser:
Taking place on Monday, June 28th at Cantina Gueros in North Peoria - this will be an all-day fundraiser (11am-9pm) inviting the community to come and eat, drink, and donate to the employees of restaurant staff in Pine and Strawberry who are losing their paychecks due to the fire closures.
We are also working to plan a benefit event in the town of Payson just as soon as we can coordinate details.
If you are interested in checking out any of our press coverage from the last week, check out the links below:
FRI 6/18, Channel 12 - Interview just as we had evacuated guests
SUN 6/20, Channel 12 - Dan from Windmill Coffee, Father's Day
MON 6/21, Channel 3 - Interview, Follow-up and Updates
MON, 6/21, KTAR Radio - Interview with Dan from Windmill Coffee
WED 6/23, ABC15 - Interview with Amber & Katie with Bandit's, Ways to Help
FRI 6/25, FOX 10 - 6pm News Update on Fire
SUN 6/27, NBC12 - 10pm Evacuation Lifted Interview with Ricky + Amber
We can't thank you enough for all of the support and love you have been sending our way.
We will continue to keep track of the fire situation and share updates on our social media channels - @thestrawberryinn. Check out this double rainbow, shot by our very own ray of sunshine, Wendy, over the sky in Pine after this week's rainfall. We'll take it as a good good sign!
We hope that very soon we can all get back to normal life, continue to host our wonderful guests, and provide adventure and fun in Strawberry.
-Amber & Carson