Hundreds turned out Saturday afternoon to the Moffat County Ice Arena to skate, eat and raise money for the Oxley family, which lost its house in a fire last week.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Hundreds turned out Saturday afternoon to the Moffat County Ice Arena to skate, eat and raise money for the Oxley family, which lost its house in a fire last week.

Craig community shows Oxley family support at benefit

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— On Saturday afternoon, the people of Craig showed their support for a family in need, bringing an upbeat conclusion to a trying week.

The home of Kevin and Christina Oxley was lost in a fire Nov. 3, claiming many of the family’s possessions and removing them from their house. In response, hundreds came to skate at the Moffat County Ice Arena at Loudy-Simpson Park at the Skate and Soup Fundraiser for the family.

“I don’t care what people say about this town, when something happens to somebody, it’s amazing how they come together," Kevin Oxley said about the community response. “I don’t know what to think. It’s humbling.”

Over and over, the Oxleys mentioned their appreciation for Craig, where both of them grew up, as the community came to their aid this week.

“This community is amazingly generous, and it’s a family,” Chris Oxley said. “Our biggest challenge (after getting settled again) will be the task of paying it forward. It could take a lifetime to do that.”

The ice arena typically has open skating sessions Saturdays, but none have been attended like this fundraiser. According to arena employees, they ran out of rental skates in some sizes and were near empty in almost all of them during both Saturday sessions since the fire.

Many stuck around for a couple of hours during the event, which went from 1 to 4 p.m., enjoying various soups and chiles brought by community members. The Oxleys are well-known in the community, but seeing so many of their friends and acquaintances was special, they said.

“Half of my volleyball team was here today, and that was amazingly sweet,” said Chris Oxley, who recently finished her first season as the Craig Middle School eighth-grade head coach.

Although there still is work to be done for getting the family back on track, and the Oxleys still miss their home, Saturday’s benefit was an encouraging start.

“We loved that house, and I was thinking one more summer and we would probably be finished,” Kevin Oxley said. “But we’re all safe. It could’ve gone a lot different. We feel so loved now. I never knew how I would react to something like this happening to somebody else. Now I have a lot better idea of how I’d return the favor.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com.

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