Community raises thousands of dollars at Warneke fundraiser

Marcelino Benito

Community raises thousands of dollars at Warneke fundraiser

CREATED Jul. 30, 2013

MARANA, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - Bagpipes blasted for Billy Warneke in a tribute to a hero and his family.

"It was emotional," said James Lester. "it just goes through your mind thinking about the families, your heart goes out to the families."

Strangers moved to tears Tuesday night. They came to The Station Pub to show support for a grieving widow and her unborn daughter.

"All the firefighters consider her part of the family," said Julie Horner.

"I feel for her," said Alana Quackenbush. "I hope she knows we're all here to support her."

Firefighters turned into waiters and busboys serving the community they'd give their lives up for.

"It's really a big deal," said Northwest firefighter Luke Anderson. "When something tragic happens, we always come together, always."

'Yarnell 19' t-shorts sold by the hundreds. Prizes were raffled to the highest bidder. Firefighter boots filled with dollars. Crowds waited more than an hour to get a seat. Every tip from every beer and burger went back to the Warnekes.

"We're never going to replace Billy," said firefighter Jason Garza. "We're just hoping to provide a little stability for the family."

Before Tuesday, firefighters had already raised $23,000.

"It's just so close to home," said Lester.

And on this the one month anniversary of the tragedy in Yarnell, people still remember.

"I cried, it was just horrible," said Quackenbush.

This community wanted to show the Warneke family no one has forgotten Billy, and they never will.

Capt. Adam Goldberg says the community raised $11,000 at Tuesday's fundraiser. That brings the total raised to $34,000. It will all help the Warnekes remodel their home.

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