On Saturday, March 18th, 70 people who lived at Monona Hills lost their homes and most of their belongings. One person, Annette Dorenzo, lost her life. My deepest condolences go out to Annette's family and all who loved her in addition to all of the people who lost their homes. I visited with these residents regularly and knew Annette and many others. I would always make sure they had paper copies of any surveys that the City would send out like our transit survey.
Monona Hills was an age restricted apartment complex limited to seniors and those were were low income or with disabilities. The property is located between Heritage Monona and St. Stephen's Lutheran Church. The damages are estimated to be about $2 million.
I spent the day with residents on Saturday and lent my listening ear, shared stories of my house fire and losing my sister that painful day on April 14, 1984. It forever changed me and these residents are forever changed as well. I also made several runs to Walgreen's to get them socks, medical supplies, lotions, toiletries and whatever it was they needed to help. This is an incredibly vulnerable community and most left their meds, phones, purses, in the building when they ran out at 3:45am.
An outpouring of support has resulted in a mountain of clothing at St. Stephen's so they are asking that people now donate monetarily only. Thank you to all of you who have donated and showed your concern for the residents. The one bit of good news is that six cats survived the fire.
I'm in constant communication with Josh, the property manager and he is and incredible human who cares deeply for the residents. Josh has informed me that most of the residents have moved in with family members, some have been put up in hotels by friends or family, and some remain living at St. Stephen's Church.
One fundraiser is being hosted by a social worker who lives very close to St. Stephen's and with a family member of a resident. This is a trusted and vetted fundraiser that you can be sure your donation will be used with the best of intentions. CLICK HERE TO DONATE
I am working with Annette's family and an attorney in Monona to organize a GoFundMe for them as well. I will share that on my social channels and here on my website when it is live.
I must give the deepest gratitude to our first responders who worked so long over the weekend to help those affected. Watching their professionalism, hard working commitment to the people they serve made me so proud to be here in Monona. Please extend your gratitude to them when you see them next.
Yours in service,
Kristie Goforth, Candidate for Monona Mayor 2023
If you are in a position to make a donation, no amount is too small for this grassroots effort. For Venmo users, use @KristieGoforth. Paypal and ActBlue are also options for online donations. To send a check, make it to Friends of Kristie Goforth and mail it to PO Box 6594, Monona, WI 53716.