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Date of Issue: June 16, 2005

Fund for Anna Maria fire victims

A fund for Islanders and the mainland public to assist Anna Maria fire victims Jennifer and Warren Ratcliff has been opened at Wachovia Bank, Jennifer Ratcliff said.

The Ratcliffs home at 208 Sycamore was virtually wiped out in a June 4 fire that left the couple homeless. The fire also destroyed most of their private property along with several family pets.

Several Islanders have already responded to their plight, Jennifer Ratcliff said, including one teenage girl who rode up to their property on her bicycle and gave them all her spare change.

The Sandbar restaurant chimed in with a financial donation and free meals for a week, she said, and Steve Bark of Bark & Co. Realty in Holmes Beach helped out with a hotel room for a week.

They are still waiting on some assistance from the insurance company, she said.

Anyone interested in aiding the Ratcliffs can make a contribution at any Wachovia branch under the Jennifer and Warren Ratcliff Assistance Fund Account or call the Ratcliffs at 545-3400 to make a direct contribution.

"We want to thank all the wonderful people who have already helped us," said Jennifer.