Creek Fire: Event held in northwest Fresno to help victims, animals impacted by flames

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Families and friends may have had to sit apart, but that didn't stop the community from coming together for a good cause.

"Everything is so bad for everyone," says Stephen Reed. "Anything we can do to help anyone at this point."

Several people spent the evening at Palm and Nees, bringing their chairs to enjoy a night of drinks and music at the Sound of Giving Benefit.

Santiago Soto, the owner of Beyond the Wine, organized the event to benefit the Central California Animal Disaster team, a nonprofit helping responders with livestock and displaced relief pets.

Soto may not have lost his home, but he's been hard by the pandemic.

He just opened his business in December and was forced to close just three months later.

"We've been enjoying a small amount of business, living off take-out," he said. "The reality is we have a lot of time on our hands. "We felt this was our time to step up and help the community in a way that would be impactful."

Inside, business owner Ernesto Vega of DMV Unlimited in Chowchilla is doing his part, selling shirts to donate to the nonprofit.

"No matter if your 10 miles away or 50 miles away, you have to help that person," he said. "If you picture yourself in those shows, you'd want someone to help you."

Safety measures were also put in place as circles were drawn on the grass to keep groups separate, and masks were required.

Even behind the masks, you could see the smiles and people enjoyed a night out while helping others. Soto says in all, they were able to raise hundreds of dollars to donate to the charity.
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