Dairy farmers raise $61,000 for White Swan victims - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Dairy farmers raise $61,000 for White Swan victims

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TOPPENISH, Wash. -- The White Swan community got a huge boost Monday with a large check donation from local dairy farmers.

Members of the Yakima Valley Dairy Farmers presented a check for more than $61,000 to the White Swan Relief Fund.

Many of the fire victims, along with the Yakama Tribal Council, Yakima County commissioner Kevin Bouchey and Dairy Farmers spoke at the event in Toppenish.

Yakima dairy farmers Bill Dolsen and Genny DeRuyter spearheaded the Yakima Valley dairy producer's fundraising drive.

"We just felt that it was the right thing to do. To help our neighbors in need," explained Genny DeRuyter, who operates a dairy farm with her husband in Outlook. "We've gone through very difficult times. We just thought it's our way of giving back to the community."

Earlier this month, the Washington Dairy Farmers helped raise food and cash donations at the High School Basketball Championships in Yakima.

The check was presented to Harry Smiskin, Chair of the Yakama Tribal Council.

"Anything the tribal council can do, they will do," Smiskin said. "We'll build White Swan into a nice, new community."

The donation will be used towards purchasing food, clothing and supplies.