Ewing Township Holds Fundraiser For Those Affected By Explosion - My9 New Jersey

Ewing Township Holds Fundraiser For Those Affected By Explosion

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 Tara Jones and her family are smiling today at the south fork community benefit. Smiling is something that has been difficult to do in the days after the March 4th gas explosion that changed their lives forever. 

Jones shares with us these personal photos of her house on Crockett Lane after the blast.  It's completely leveled.  She says nothing could be salvaged.  Linda Cerritelli, Jones' next door neighbor for the last 13 years lost her life. 

Jones says,"Your home one day getting the kids ready for school and then you come home and there's nothing there.  It's very surreal. "

They were left with only the clothes on their backs. Jones, her husband bill, and their two children ages 5 and 10 are all picking up the pieces and trying to return to a sense of normalcy. 

Jones says the first step was trying to explain the kids what happened

"We took them to see.  Everyone thought we were crazy.  But they needed to understand that our home is gone. Our things aren't there anymore," explains Jones "Now they understand that it's not there. That this is real."

55 homes in the complex were damaged or destroyed that day. 

Saturday's benefit at Fisher Middle School is raising money for all of the families. 

Their goal is to raise $50,000.

The Ewing Disaster Relief Fund has raised approximately $250,000 so far.  Jones says the generosity is overwhelming.

 Barbara Lysenko and "Miss Amy" along with The Arts Council of Ewing stepped up to organize today's benefit. They scheduled more than a dozen entertainers from musicians to singers and dancers.

"The network of caring people in this community and outside it has been amazing.  We are so grateful. It made us even stronger that way," says Jones.

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