Eureka alumni help a classmate who lost herd in Wednesday’s fire

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Dickerson family in Paradise, Kansas, are cattle producers. They suffered devastating losses to their herd in Wednesday’s severe weather event, but former classmates have banded together to provide relief. 

Eureka High School alumni Dana Mills and Troy Richardson started brainstorming ways to help the Dickerson’s the moment they got the news. Their solution? Show up with meat. 

“Looking forward to getting this filled up. That’s our goal to get it to the brim,” said Mills as she pointed to a large deep freezer.  

She is collecting a freezer full of donations. 

“They didn’t even know the extent of the damage and devastation until when they woke up this morning,” continued Mills.

Home lumber in Eureka donated the freezer. 

“It’s crazy, crazy the amount of rings and contacts I’ve got from my cellphone today. People want to support this in ways that just beyond imaginable,” said Richardson.

On Friday, Mills and Richardson will collect meat and frozen goods from their community. Saturday, they will drive the trailer to Paradise to deliver the items to the Dickerson’s.

“Oh, I would love to fill up the whole trailer. That would be amazing,” added Mills.

They’re hopeful they will have enough donations to share with other families in need.

“The community is here and we’re going to help them out in any way we can,” commented Mills. 

Just like the Dickerson family, Mills and Richardson raise show cattle. They said the realization of this loss is yet to come.

“You work a lifetime to build up your herd and build up certain kinds of genetics and then to have those genetics to sell to other breeders that want to use your genetics and to have that wiped out and devastated. You’ll never completely recover,” concluded Mills. 

Mills said the freezer can hold at least 600 pounds of beef, but it’s just a drop in the bucket on the way to recovery.

If you would like to help, here are ways to do so:

  • GoFundMe click here.
  • The Eureka Herald: Monetary donations can be sent to our office at PO Box 590, Eureka, KS 67045.
  • If anyone would like to donate money to help get the hay delivered to the Paradise, Kansas wildfire area, go to www.farmrescue.org
  • Donations for fire victims can be sent to Kansas Cattlemen’s Association. Payable to KCA, with the memo “Wildfire Relief Fund”. PO Box 1489 Junction City, KS 66441

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