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Charleston Fishing Families launches fund to assist families of fishermen in need

Charleston Fishing Families held a ceremony to launch their Fishermen's Relief Fund and to present their group as an official nonprofit organization. (SBG photo)

CHARLESTON, Ore. -- Over the weekend, Charleston Fishing Families held a ceremony to launch their Fishermen's Relief Fund and to present their group as an official nonprofit organization.

Charleston Fishing Families says, up until a year ago, there was no relief fund for fishermen and their families when a financial emergency struck.

Now members of the community can donate to the fund by buying a crab pot tag and attaching it to a net at Englund Marine.

The new fishing net, along with $10,000, was awarded to Charleston Fishing Families by the Bering Sea Fisherman's Tour.

It was delivered to Charleston by a man from an Alaskan fishing crew named Terry Barkley, the brother of Jerry Barkley, the captain lost on the Patty AJ last March.

"We wouldn't have to rush really fast to try and raise some money to be able to help these people out ... you know, these fishermen and their families out. So this has been the most amazing gift that anyone could give us," said media coordinator Melissa Clemens.

Clemens says the funds are not just available to those who have lost a loved one in the fishing industry; they’re available to any family that's part of the fishing community and facing financial crisis.

"Received an eviction notice, there's a boat that goes down, there's an injury, there's loss of gear, loss of life ... your kid wants to play basketball and the season is on a delay and you need some help with that, contact us,” Clemens says. “I don't care if they work at one of the gift shops down here; if they work at one of the plants, if they work on one of the boats … however they're connected, we want to help."

You can find more information by visiting the Charleston Fishing Families Facebook page.

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