Community raises funds for family

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WDTV) - Almost two months ago on Memorial Day, Ryan and Alexis Shine returned home from their honeymoon to discover they had lost everything in a house fire.

The Shines returned from their honeymoon to find that they'd lost everything, including their two beloved dogs, in a house fire.

"It was heart-dropping; something you'd never expect to happen," Ryan said.

"It was literally a nightmare and losing our two dogs was the worst thing ever," said Alexis.

Today, their community came together for a fundraiser at the Mason Jar Saloon in Morgantown. The event started at 1 p.m. and tickets were $15 per person, which included lunch and entertainment.

"We're just trying to make it easier on them by giving them a little money, a little pocket change...then we'll go from there," said the event's organizer, Dale Lewis.

The owner of the Mason Jar, Steve Reese, offered the location for free and roasted a whole hog for lunch.

"People run into tough times all the time and if we can give back, we try to," Reese said.

The community has been extremely supportive of the couple, who have a three-year-old son and a daughter, due in August.

"Ryan and Alexis are really good friends," said Leah Prine.

Prine continued, "Ryan's been more like a brother to me, I've known him since middle school, so we just wanted to come show our support and help them get back on their feet."

"People that we don't even know have donated money and then all of our friends and family put this together. I just think it's amazing, everything the community has done for us; it's really heartwarming," Alexis said.

The event raised $3,000. The money will go towards helping the family recover in whatever ways they need.

"It's for them to get back on their feet and back to their regular lives, and have everything that they've worked really hard for" said family-friend Cheyenne Varner.

Despite the devastating losses, the Shines say the love they share and the kindness of the community has made the whole ordeal a little easier.

"Just having each other and our close family and friends [has helped]; without that, it'd be a lot worse," Alexis said.

If you would like to donate, a Go-Fund Me page has been set up for the Shines. The link to the page is: https://www.gofundme.com/shine-house-fire-fund