SH comes through with aid for victims

A fund-raiser at the Sweet Home Figaro’s Pizza Sunday, April 26, helped raise more than $16,000 for burn victim Lynn Damewood, an employee at the store.

Damewood was one of two local women critically burned when fuel was poured onto a backyard fire on April 11. The fuel apparently splashed on Damewood, 31, and Courtney Lake, 21, burning Damewood and Lake over approximately 40 percent of their bodies. Four others were burned less seriously.

According to Figaro’s co-owner Paula Newman, Damewood remains in an induced coma at the Oregon Burn Center at Emanuel Legacy Hospital in Portland, and doctors plan to keep her in that state for another week after completing skin grafts over third-degree burns on her lower legs, hands and under her neck. Her face and hair were also burned.

Newman said Damewood is expected to be at the Burn Center for at least another four weeks.

Don Knight, a friend of Lake’s family, said that Lake is also in the process of getting skin grafts, a painful process. Lake suffered third-degree burns on her legs and right arm, as well as burns on her head, face, neck, abdomen, back, left arm and hands.

Knight said the less serious burns on Lake’s face and arms are healing. Complications are possible, he said, but “by the grace of God, they have seen improvement.”

With the more serious burns, “we’re hoping for the same progress as the rest of her burns,” he said, adding that two deep burns on her arm are a concern.

Lake is on a high-calorie IV and is on sedatives as she goes through the grafting surgery.

Sweet Home Figaro’s donated all its income on Sunday to Lake, and the Albany, Lebanon and Stayton stores contributed 25 percent of their proceeds, Newman said. Also, Figaro’s corporate owner Ron Berger waived royalty fees for the day at the store, Newman said.

The fund-raiser event included musical performances on the lawn between Figaro’s and The New Era buildings, donation jars and a raffle for a TV and other donated items.

Newman said a number of individuals and local businesses contributed to the event. Pepsi donated the beverages sold during the day and Cascade Produce donated produce. Sweet Home High School cafeteria staff helped make dough and prep pizza toppings on Saturday and helped make pizzas on Sunday.

“They know what it’s like to feed thousands of people and they donated their time and facilities to help,” she said.

Former Figaro’s employees jammed the space behind the counter at Figaro’s Sunday, taking orders, making pizzas and keeping things running as a steady stream of customers lined up in the store.

Newman said the Sweet Home Seventh-Day Adventist Church lent chairs and Safeway donated a birthday cake for Damewood’s son Jensen, who celebrated his seventh birthday Sunday. Rogers’ Florist donated balloons for the birthday as well, she said. Ron Totten of Totten Sound Productions in Lebanon donated his time and equipment to run the sound for the event during the afternoon. The Newmans also provided presents for the boy.

Community Chapel’s team, the Oak Heights student choir, Betsy and Theron Yochelson, the Knebel family, Sanctify and the Cornerstone Fellowship worship team performed on Sunday afternoon.

Cornerstone Pastor Rick Ellingson led a community prayer session on the victims’ behalf.

The raffle took in $300 on Sunday and will continue until an auction planned for 3 p.m. on May 9 at the Waterhole Tavern in Foster. To make a cash donation or donate items for the auction, e-mail [email protected].

Figaro’s co-owner Jim Newman said the store ran out of pizzas at 5:40 p.m. Sunday, after selling more than 900.

“We’ve been involved in several fund-raisers but we haven’t had anything like this in 15 years,” he said. “We were hoping to do $6,000 to $7,000. We were really surprised.”