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Community Raises $3,636 for Carlson Family

Bridle Path Elementary families and neighbors of John and Linda Carlson held a bake sale fundraiser Sunday on Meadow Glen Road

Diets were put on hold and sweet tooths had a field day Sunday, all in the name of charity.

Bridle Path Elementary families, as well as neighbors and friends of John and Linda Carlson, came together Sunday in Montgomery Township at a bake sale fundraiser at 1 Meadow Glen Road - home of Zak Jackson - to collect donations for the Carlsons.

Two tables in front of the Jackson home were filled with cups of hot cocoa, brownies, a plethora of cookies in many varieties, brookies (cookies baked into brownies), Rice Krispies treats, pretzel sticks dipped in white chocolate, candy bars and more delectable pastries.

At the close of the fundraiser at 3:30 p.m., $3,636 was raised for the family.

Fire Department of Montgomery Township made an appearance, and provided traffic safety during the event.

"This is an opportunity to help a family in need and this is a high-volume location," said Jackson. "I figured it would be better to have it here than anywhere else because we could make more for the Carlsons."

With a large turnout, and with the amount raised, it proved how a community can band together.

"It's a great neighborhood," Jackson said. "We all take care of our own, and it shows we take care of our own even if we don't know each other."

The Carlsons lost their 20 Douglass Road home in Montgomery Township to a fire Feb. 9.

They have since been staying in a suite at a local hotel, along with their first-grade son.

The event was organized by Renee Johnson and Stacey Schwengels. The pair also organized a January fundraiser for the Harris family, who also lost their home to a fire on Jan. 9.

"People were still stopping to give money while we were taking everything down," said Johnson. "When there wasn’t anything left in the front yard, cars still stopped us to give money. Then – the second I walked in my front door – my phone was ringing. It was Zak Jackson, telling me that someone knocked on his door and wrote a check for $100 for the Carlson family! Amazing!"

Jackson wished for the Carlsons and Harrises to get their homes rebuilt as seamlessly as possible.

"I hope they have enough capital and their lives aren't interrupted," Jackson said. "That's the goal of this – to make sure their lives are minimally interrupted."

Watch the video for interviews with John and Linda Carlson, as well as the "human billboards" of neighborhood youths promoting the event.

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