The Buhler Chamber of Commerce partnered with F6 Ranchwear and Whiskey River Mercantile to create t-shirts to fundraise for families affected by the Cottonwood Complex fire.
Shelly Bartel, co-owner of Bartel Kitchen and Bath and the Buhler Chamber of Commerce president, said the idea of a fundraiser became a joint effort between her and Chris Foster, owner of F6 Ranchwear.
Whiskey River Mercantile opened in early February. The business sells screen-printed clothing items. After the Cottonwood Complex fire, Bartel approached Foster with the idea to create t-shirts as a fundraiser.
More:Whiskey River Mercantile moves into Bartel Kitchen and Bath, hopes to draw business to Buhler
Foster and Bartel worked with the first responders of the fire to create the design and began the printing process.
“We had a lot of input from different fire departments and people around,” Foster said. “We’ve got (the Buhler) high school art and graphic design department working on some stuff too.”
Foster said he contacted one of his suppliers to partner with the project, lowering the price of the t-shirts, so all of the proceeds from the shirts could go back to the fire victims.
More:Agencies offer help to victims of the Cottonwood Complex fire in Reno County
Bartel said after learning of multiple families she knew who experienced losses, she decided she had to do something to help.
“This will hopefully help those who lost things in the fire, and that’s just who we are, that’s all of us,” Bartel said. “We want to help; that’s just our community.”
Foster mirrored her thoughts on the Buhler community, where he said many Buhler families “showed up to help that day and the days after and I’m sure will continue to help.”
Bartel and Foster said after announcing the fundraiser, they received about a dozen orders before posting the design to Whiskey River Mercantile and Buhler Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook pages.
The shirts come in red, blue and black to represent first responders with “Kansas Strong, Cottonwood Complex Fire Relief” on the front. There is a list of the departments who were present during the wildfire on the back.
Each shirt costs $20 on the Buhler Chamber of Commerce Square website, with another option to donate without purchasing a shirt.
Foster said he and Bartel would screen-print all of the shirts at F6 Ranchwear. They will then ship to those who purchased a shirt through the website. Those looking to order in person can visit F6 Ranchwear in downtown Buhler.
“It’s the people here, so we’re just trying to provide an avenue to generate some income and hopefully benefit some of these people that were hurt or worse,” Foster said.
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