As a Medical Lake man prepares to bury his niece killed by the tornado in Oklahoma earlier this week, his friends back at home work hard to help his family get through this difficult time.
On Friday, dozens of people packed into nYne Bar and Bistro in downtown Spokane to raise money for the Strickland-Conatzer family. Dan Strickland's is from Medical Lake, but is now in Oklahoma to help his sister's family burying his niece, Emily, and rebuild their lives.
Katie Rafter is friends with the Strickland-Conatzer family and a singer for VIBE - the head liner band for the fundraiser at nYne.
"I talked with Danny today, who is down there with his sister. Gift cards, Home Hepot, Lowe's those kind of gift cards are huge right now, clothing stores. If you can't donate money, give items. They need drinking water," Katie Rafter, a friend of the family said.
On Monday, 9-year old Emily Conatzer died when an EF-5 tornado ripped apart her elementary school. Emily was found under a mound of debris, holding onto her best friend, who also died.
Emily's younger sister, Luci, was at the same school when the tornado struck, but she survived.
"She was a beautiful little soul and like I said we come from a close knight family, my sister's kid, I don't have any kids, like my own kids," Medical Lake native, Dan Strickland said of his niece, Emily.
In a phone interview with KXLY, Strickland said his sister not only lost her oldest daughter, but their home was destroyed as well. Strickland said the laundry room at his sister's house was all that standing after the tornado passed.
"It's one of the saddest things I've ever seen," he said.
nYne will donate 5% of all sales Friday night to help families in Oklahoma.
If you'd like to help out contact Katie Rafter at firstname.lastname@example.org.