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Weekend benefit to help hurricane recovery efforts

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Like many people who watched the Hurricane Harvey disaster unfold in southern Texas, Patti Kaech felt compelled to help. But with many donations never reaching their intended destination, or even doing more harm than good, she wanted to know that her efforts would actually help.

But it's a big disaster, and any efforts she could think of seemed so small. "I didn't want to do something by myself," she said. So Kaech, a realtor with Needlerock Realty, decided to sponsor a local fundraiser and reached out to the community. "Even small communities can give to large communities," she said.

Kaech found a partner in the nonprofit Paradise Theatre in Paonia. As a result, two screenings of the movie, "Friday Night Lights" will be shown this weekend at the Paradise, with all box office proceeds going to Team Rubicon. "I thought it'd be a great organization to give disaster relief to," said Kaech.

According to its website, Team Rubicon was founded in 2010 by a group of U.S. Marines who wanted to help the victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Because of their military training they were able to organize relief efforts and get supplies to areas others couldn't reach.

Today the all-veteran organization pairs the skills and experiences of veterans with first responders and medical and technology teams to provide the highest level of service and impact possible to disaster areas that need it most. Since 2010 they have amassed more than 48,000 members and responded to more than 200 disasters across the U.S., including the floods that hit the Houston area in 2016.

It also has a gold rating from GuideStar, which ranks philanthropic organizations to aid donors in their charitable giving decisions.

With high school football season underway, Kaech said the timing is right to see "Friday Night Lights." The film is based on a true story about a high school football team in Odessa, Texas, and its run for the state title.

Screenings are at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, and at noon Sunday, Sept. 10. Admission is by a suggested donation of $10, said theater general manager Sunshine Knight, and donation jars will be out. The concession stand will be open, with proceeds covering licensing fees. Despite it being a fundraiser, they still have to pay those fees, said Knight.

Theater staff is volunteering their time.

Donations are tax deductible and can be made by check, said Kaech. Those wanting to give but who are unable to attend a screening can donate on-line at teamrubiconusa.org/donate/.

Kaech said that Southwest Airlines is also accepting mileage points for Team Rubicon or other charitable organizations at www.southwest.com.

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