Yelm Community gathers around companies that were destroyed in a fire during collection

By Jacob Dimond /

The Yelm community gathered to support three companies that were destroyed in a fire in December at a fundraising event on Saturday, January 8.

Three separate community dinners were held at 17.00, 18.00 and 19.00 during the Fire Relief Fundraiser at Yelm Community Center before a lottery and auction ended the evening.

All money raised from the dinner, lottery and auction will be distributed evenly and donated to the three companies – Freedom Training Center, Happy Feet Spa and Red Nail salon – which were affected by the fire that took place on 22 December.

The dinner was sponsored and provided by Steele Barrel BBQ and Masonry Cafe and cost $ 50 per plate and the proceeds were donated. Better Homes and Gardens provided drinks for the evening and the city of Yelm sponsored the venue.

Throughout the night, people ate and hung out with each other. Freedom Training Center founder and owner Melanie Medlock was present at the event, along with her staff.

Many Yelm residents attended the Freedom Training Center, which has been part of the Yelm community for nearly a decade.

At one point in the evening, Medlock, surrounded by his family and companions from the Freedom Training Center, shared his appreciation with those present.

“We thank you so much. Through this dark time, you have all been such a strong light. Every donation, every text, every call, everything means so much. We have no answers yet, but we just want to thank you,” said Medlock. “This is what society is for.”

After the dinners ended, the lottery and auction took place. The items that were auctioned off included gift cards for local companies, several memberships at local gyms, gift baskets put together by local companies and several desserts from Masonry Cafe. The raffle included Seahawks memorabilia and merchandise, wine, gift cards for local businesses, and various home decor items.

Line Roy, organizer of the banquet and CEO of the Yelm Chamber of Commerce, was optimistic about the amount of money raised, even though a final number was not available.

“We are pleased with the early results. We are delighted to receive the final figures in the next few days,” said Roy. “Overall, I was very pleased with the event. It was put together so quickly after the fire. such a short time was really a sign of how our society is coming together and supporting each other. ”

Yelm has built up a good reputation for gathering support for residents in need, Roy said.

“I would like to give a special thank you to the companies that supported this event, the volunteers who gave their time, Mel with Freedom Training Center for speaking from her heart and our community for being so generous,” said Roy.

Steele Clayton, with Steele Barrel BBQ, has become acquainted with the owners of the companies concerned. Clayton said that Medlock and those at the Freedom Training Center have become fantastic community leaders.

“Freedom has given so much back to our society, so I was not surprised to see a great response, but it was really heartwarming to see it become as successful and cohesive as it was,” he said. “They’re the kind of people who usually put on these events, not the other way around.”

Overall, Clayton saw the banquet as a success. He said the partnerships – from Roy who handles the logistics, to the donations to the auctions and the local support to provide the food – he said “it was like seeing an organization that has worked well for several years come together overnight.”

After the incident, Medlock repeated his love for society.

“In a devastating and dark time, society and the city have flooded us with lights of hope, encouragement and love,” Medlock said. “All things work together for good, and in a time like this it is difficult to see the good. The community when we looked around the event was good in the present and we felt love.”

The banquet and fundraiser were just one of several events that have taken place for the businesses destroyed in the fire.

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