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Rebuild & Restore Our Community

2013 June 16
by Ryan

Six days ago hell unleashed a fury on our beloved community. For days we watched in horror as the smoke cloud from the Black Forest Fire grew and shrunk, not knowing what was happening underneath. Our faces didn’t mask our shock as we watched video from inside the burn zone. The waiting. The hoping that all was fine even though in the back of our minds we knew it was not.

As the smoke starts to clear we are learning about the devastation left behind. Almost 500 homes of our community are gone. Two of our community members are gone as well. And we have not received the all clear yet.

Our hearts are heavy here at R&R. We mourn for the homes and the lives lost. From our front door we can look north to large swaths of burned trees, pockets of green, and a sense of stillness that trumps any of the stillness we’re used to up here.

But Hell forgot one thing about Black Forest: it takes much more than a fire to destroy our community. We are a strong folk who live amongst the trees.

Sure, we’re bruised and bloody right now. Sure, we’re stinging from the loss of our friends. Sure, we’re second-guessing everything about the Forest. But we’re still here. And we’re not going anywhere.

Our community will survive. Our community will thrive. No fire is going to stop that.

Thank you La Foret for this great emblem of our community.

Thank you La Foret for this great emblem of our community.

And this little coffee cafe is going to be right there with you. In your community.

We will reopen the coffee side of our shop tomorrow (Monday) the 17th at 7:00 am. We lost all our food in the extended power outage, so we will not be serving meals or pastries until Tuesday. But we felt it was imperative to bring back a sense of normalcy–a sense of community.

We have cleared all our bulletin boards for you. Please post away all lost and found, services/items needed, services/items available, and any general wellwishes you have for our community. We all need to rebuild and restore our community quickly.

We hope to see all our good friends back in our store soon. We know many of you have had your lives changed dramatically over the last few days. Ours have too. But by coming together to share in our grief and joy is the best–no, only–way to make our community survive. And that’s what is needed most of all.

We will be donating 10% of our sales for this week to Tri Lakes Cares. To rebuild and restore our home.

Wishing all of you a sense of community,

Ryan Wanner, Owner/Roast Master of R&R Coffee Cafe, Black Forest’s COMMUNITY Coffee Cafe.

If any Black Forest people need cat or dog food, please call the sanctuary so we can give you some. Also, if you are missing a cat or dog from the fire and want food, water, bowls to put out on your property, we have that too. We have some space for owner owned displaced pets and livestock from the fire. 494-0158.

Art says:

Great Post!
Love that Black Forest Strong! Logo

Sorry about the Loss of so many homes – Including Carla’s.

Are you back up to selling the coffee Online? –

Thinking of ALL of you.

Penny Bieber says:

Ryan and crew-so very glad to know you are safe and sound. We have been scanning the burn notices from afar, and although we don’t live in Black Forest, two of my brothers do. Thankfully, their homes were spared. Nevertheless, my heart goes out to all. Because we live in the ponderosa forests of southern Colorado-in an area not unlike Black Forest, every loss hits us right in the gut. We know what it means to live in a place- on land that you know intimately and love completely. You are all in our hearts and prayers.

Ryan says:

Michelle, We will be selling the crosses for the foreseeable future, and they are a recommended donation of $5 each. We have a table set up in our dining room with the donation jar. We’ll see you soon!

Michelle says:

Are you guys still selling the Black Forest crosses? I would really like to help out and I think they are a fantastic idea!! Also, how much are they? Thank you 🙂

Also, I had no idea you guys were here until this all happened, I’m looking forward to stopping in!

Kevin Murphy says:

“Black Forest Strong!” love it!! Thanks Ryan. Great post.

What can we do to help from Myrtle Beach SC? I saw the offer for coffee for the personal, can I send a donation?

Leigh Ann says:

What a wonderful response to this very difficult situation. Thank you for posting these encouraging words. I appreciate Debbie Ardan Christian for sharing them with her FB friends. I have several family members who weathered Hurricane Katrina. Your strong & caring attitude & intentions made me think of them. We are with you in spirit and we will support your efforts in every way we can. Sending best wishes from AL & LA & MS.

David Wright says:

Excellent spot Ryan and commitment to the community, thank you for supporting the Black Forest area so tangibly.

I could see that Black Forest Strong logo on a bag of special roasted coffee commemorating the event and seeing a % donation from the sales of each bag to the local rebuild agencies for years to come…..huummmmmm……..

Mama Cosby says:

Thanks for what you’re doing. You are the grit and love that makes our country great.

Cindy Lillard says:

Beautifully written. Black Forest is so lucky to have a place that will be immediately open to gather. Hugs to all.

Ryan says:

Of course! Talk to our staff tomorrow and we’ll help get it set up.

Joe Krantz says:

Taking donations for free coffee for Fire Fighters / Law Officers & Military working the area?

Tina says:

Thank you R&R for so much.. for being such a huge part of the community, for how much you care.

Definitely looking forward to seeing the town come back .. my thoughts go out to everyone who was affected by this..

The beauty of Black Forest did not burn 🙂

Thank you again R&R!

Craig Brumfield says:

Awesome Ryan–thanks for what you are doing. 🙂

See you at 7am!