Peoria Theater Performance of "Big" Will Benefit Yarnell Hill Recovery Group

A non-profit group working to rebuild fire-ravaged Yarnell has raised about $1.2 million toward those efforts, but are far short of their overall goal of about $6 million.

Various organizations and individuals have contributed good and cash, and now a Peoria theater is getting on charity.

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Theater Works actors are donating proceeds from a performance of "Big" -- based on the 1988 comedy film starring Tom Hanks -- on Saturday evening to benefit the Yarnell Hill Recovery Group.

Catch the show at 7:30 p.m. in the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, 8355 West Peoria Avenue. Tickets are $34.50 and include post-performance hors d'oeuvres and wine.

The Yarnell lightning-sparked fire burned more than 8,400 acres, destroyed 114 structures and caused the death of 19 firefighters.

Francis Lechner, communication director for the Rebuilding Group, tells New Times there is a "real sense of confidence and hope in the community."

She adds: "People aren't generally feeling depressed. It's really an emotional mosaic. People who have lost their homes ... found that a good way to deal with that loss to help with the rebuilding. Others are much fragile. But the long and the short of it -- there is definitely a feeling that Yarnell is rising."

Lechner says rebuilding is going on at all levels.

"Yarnell has always been a tight community," she says. "And it's just gotten tighter now. It's incredible."

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Monica Alonzo
Contact: Monica Alonzo