Odessans can aid Panhandle fire victimsCar show is set for Saturday to raise funds

Odessan Patrick Fry recently saw the damage for himself that the deadly Panhandle fires wrought upon the area around Perryton.
Fry has helped organize a Saturday car show that he hopes will raise much-needed funding for the wildfire-ravaged area.
The Panhandle Wildfire Benefit Car, Truck and Jeep Show is scheduled 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Jack Jordan’s BAR-B-Que, 1501 JBS Parkway. The event will include a silent auction and raffle including items like YETI packages, a riding jacket, memorabilia baskets, gift baskets and more.
Fry said he became involved through Facebook.
“I had friends share what was going on and they are part of the ranching community here,” he said.
The fires burned more than 125,000 acres, four people died and others were injured as the fires of early March rolled through the Panhandle taking grazing grasslands, livestock and homes.
Fry said there have been organized runs of supplies between Odessa and the Panhandle for several weeks and volunteers from Odessa-Midland heading north to help out. Fry said he recently helped rebuild some fences and that it is a vast job that requires many hours of work.
“I came back here and got a little worried that the interest in helping the people up there would fade as the headlines became scarce so we came up with the car show idea to raise money to help,” Fry said.
He said he hadn’t built a barb wire fence before and that the work that goes into is time-consuming. “Everything is built in sections and you have to cement and brace it and that’s a lot of work for them,” Fry said.
Fry said Shorty’s Rentals out of Midland has taken loads of supplies to help those who were affected by the fires. Cattle feed, fence supplies, water, cement and other items are still needed to replace thousands of miles of fence that burned. Fry said many of the posts were made of wood and when the fires swept through it wiped them out.
His first time building a fence was “a learning experience,” he laughed. He said he was grateful for the opportunity to help out those in need and looks forward to this weekend’s car show as a way for Odessans to help other Texans in need.
Fry said Odessans will get to bid on autographed items from country singers and bands, as well as other items like YETI packages.
“It’s been pretty cool to see people come together and just want to support, and neat to see the helping that has gone on,” he said.