A month ago today, my hometown of Thousand Oaks was shaken when a gunman shot and killed 12 people at Borderline, a country bar I went to many times with friends during my late teens/early 20's. The next day, two fire's broke out in the same area, and because of the Santa Ana winds, were not easily contained. The Hill Fire & Woolsey Fire together have spanned over 100,000 acres, completely destroyed more than 1,500 structures, and killed 3 people. 4 homes across the street from the house I grew up in have burned down, and though my family does not live there anymore, I watched the fire maps like a hawk praying my old house and neighborhood were not touched.
Everything hits harder when it's happening to a place or a person you've known and though my adult life has been spent in Nashville, TN, the most formative parts of my childhood came under attack last month. My heart broke... is broken... and it's still hard to comprehend.
My hometown was the perfect place to grow up. It was extremely safe. There was no time to grieve one event before the next hit, and my heart aches for those directly involved in the Borderline shooting... and for those who have lost their homes or loved ones in the fire. ...BUT I do know this is a strong community and they can and will rebuild. My duo, Hadley Park, just released a couple Christmas songs, and we wanted to take this opportunity to encourage our friends, families, and strangers to donate to help Ventura County Rebuild. You can choose to donate to both the Conejo Valley Victims Fund and the Hill/Woolsey Fire Urgent Needs Effort here:
HUGE THANKS to my Westlake High School friends and teacher for helping me put this slideshow together. Summer Nicole & Summer Langille, you are so incredibly talented. Mrs. Freeman, Erin Shepard, & Rick Canter, you caught some amazing moments. I'm so glad you all are safe!
Summer Nicole Photography (Borderline & Post Fire Photos)
Summer Langille (Thousand Oaks Artwork)
pins, stickers, shirts available on etsy to benefit TO
Meribeth Freeman, Erin Shepard & Rick Canter Photography (Pics)