Realtor association's initiative helps family affected by house fire

ST. MARYS - The Elk-Cameron Board of Realtors recently gifted the Bodien family of Ridgway with various household goods to replace items destroyed in an Aug. 13 house fire at their Fremont Avenue home. The board of realtors participated in a national initiative called "Realtors Reach Out Month," which encourages local boards and realtor associations to find a way to give back to their community. Area realtor and Elk-Cameron Board Secretary Cathie Bauer said board members had discussed how they would be part of the initiative and decided to see what they could do to assist the Bodien family, who just moved back into their home following extensive and ongoing repair. Although the house itself was still standing, there was considerable fire, water and smoke damage and the family's possessions were destroyed. "Our board met in September and discussed how we would give back to the community, and decided that the Bodien family moving back into their home after that devastating fire could use our help, and so all of the realtors who are members of our local board agreed to provide needed items for their home," Bauer said. The group, comprised of about 21 area realtors, spoke with the family to find out what they needed and purchased the items, including kitchen appliances, for Jim, Nancy, Olivia, Gavin, Alyssa and Gabe Bodien. "Not only did they have a house fire, but Mr. Bodien also suffers from a debilitating disease (Huntingdon's disease, a progressive breakdown of the brain's nerve cells), and we felt that their need was very great. We had all been made aware of their need and just hoped to be able to provide some items to help make their transition into their new home easier," Bauer said.