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Flagstaff International Relief Effort will mark the one-year anniversary of the earthquake in Nepal with a fundraiser Saturday, April 30. The event will be from 5:30-9:30 p.m. at the Orpheum Theater. Admission is free.

FIRE will be selling outdoor gear at discounted prices for this night only. Clothing brands include Patagonia, North Face, Solomon, Marmot and more. There will also be live music, films about Langtang made after the earthquake and food provided by Whyld Ass. 

On April 25, 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal. The earthquake triggered an avalanche in the popular trekking area of Langtang Valley, sweeping the village of Langtang off the map when 116 homes were buried under 100 feet of snow, ice and rock. A total of 175 Langtangpas lost their lives along with 110 foreign tourists and 30 Nepali guides. 400 Langtangpas survived.

Within one month of the earthquake, the community of Flagstaff came together to donate more than $20,000 to FIRE in support of the villagers from Langtang. One year later, FIRE has distributed aid such as blankets, food, mattresses, clothing and cooking supplies to 57 families. FIRE also helped repair a bridge at an important river crossing.

FIRE continues to work on providing basic aid and developing new projects focused on community development, economic development and cultural preservation. The main focus at the moment is to build homes for the poorest elders of the community who survived the winter at 13,000 feet in make-shift shelters, unable to travel to Kathmandu with the rest of the village and without family to support the reconstruction of their homes.

The communities of Sun Valley, Hailey and Kethum, Idaho, donated 5,000 pounds of name brand outdoor winter clothing for FIRE to sell in support of the reconstruction efforts. All proceeds of this event will support the reconstruction of Langtang. More information is at

Get your hands dirty for Arbor Day

On Saturday, April 30, in honor of Arbor Day, The Arboretum at Flagstaff, Willow Bend Environmental Education Center, Friends of the Rio, REI and APS are partnering for a Rio de Flag Restoration Day at Willow Bend. Volunteers are invited for tree planting, trash clean-up and weed pulling. Participants will learn about invasive weeds and proper planting techniques—and help clean up the Rio de Flag.

Jack Welch and Lynne Nemeth will be guiding a Rio de Flag hike at 8 a.m., with clean-up and planting beginning at 9 a.m.

Sponsors and partners include REI, the City of Flagstaff and Coconino County Parks & Recreation.

Arbor Day is an annual observance that celebrates the role of trees in our lives and promotes tree planting and care. As a formal holiday, it was first observed in 1872.

Those interested in volunteering for the Arbor Day Rio de Flag Restoration can meet at Willow Bend Environmental Education Center, 703 E. Sawmill Road. Bring water, sunscreen, a hat and work gloves. Families are welcome.

For more information, contact Shannon Benjamin at 774-1442 ext. 127, or

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