Malibu Love ‘Adopt-a-Family’ Spotlight: The Thomas Family and Jerry Park

0
285
Lisa (left) and Frank Thomas

Malibu families struggling to recover after the Woolsey Fire are receiving support from the “Adopt-a-Family” project of “Malibu Love.” 

The program was the brainchild of homemaker and mom Tahia Hocking. Website founder, Kelly Wirht, a web designer who grew up in Malibu, and local Shayna Spreckman helped make it happen.

Visit malibulove.org/families-in-need to see all the families listed and donate.

The requirement for a family or individual to sign up is that they must have lost their home in the Woolsey Fire. Families are vetted by providing a FEMA claim number, pictures of their damaged property and a cross check of addresses with the City of Malibu website listing damaged/total loss properties.

 

The Thomas family

Frank and Lisa Thomas have lived in Malibu for nearly 25 years and raised their three children here—Frank Jr., Timothy and Elizabeth. Timothy is currently serving in the Marines. Frank Jr. lives at home, but is getting married in July to Caren Rosen—both were Pepperdine University students. Elizabeth, 16, is still in high school.

The  couple owns and operates well-known local business Malibu Party Rents, which rents tables, chairs, umbrellas, tents, table linens, glassware, dinnerware and all kinds of other party equipment for local parties, weddings and special occasions. 

In the Woolsey Fire, the couple lost not only their home on Point Dume, but also their business—a warehouse located near Decker and Mulholland containing almost all of their party rental equipment burned up in the fire. At the time this article is published, they have basically no income and are staying with Lisa’s father at Malibu Villas. 

“We’re asking for help to rebuild our inventory and our business so we can once again provide party rentals here in Malibu,” Lisa wrote. “My family has to get replacement equipment for everything that we lost in the fire, and are asking for help to get the equipment as soon as possible and to repair our storage areas. We also ask for patience from our customers.”

Malibu Party Rents has accumulated a small amount of inventory, and suggests that customers contact them to see if their needs can be accommodated. They’re also willing to recommend other providers.

 

Jerry Park

The day the Woolsey Fire broke out, Park wasn’t at his home in the Santa Monica Mountains that he shared with roommates—he was camping in a tent at Point Mugu. From his campsite, he saw “the smoke hovering over the mountains along the beach. The wind was so strong it blew my tent over, and I was running after it down the beach. I looked up and felt the heat and the smoke coming in fast. Then, I packed up quickly and headed to Trancas Market, where I debated going home that night to pack my stuff. I texted my roommates to ask if they knew of the fire, and they were unaware of it,” Park wrote. 

“As I sat and watched it from Trancas, I felt the fire was coming in fast, and I was concerned that if I tried to go home, I’d be trapped. I headed out to Carlsbad Thursday night,” Park recounted. “The following morning, my roommates were forced to evacuate and by the time they drove down our private road to connect to Foose Road and then [state route] 23/Decker Road, the fire was already there. Two of my roommates drove straight through the fire to escape.

“Unfortunately, my roommates didn’t have enough time to pack up much for themselves, and were unable to get any of my stuff out,” Park continued. “I decided to be safe rather than save any of my belongings, so I ended up losing everything—all my work and personal items, furniture, surfboards (one did survive, thank god) and everything else. I’m rebuilding slowly with the love and support of various organizations and loving souls in the community. I’m so grateful we’re all pulling together in this time.”

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story provided an incorrect last name for Jerry Park. The story has been updated with a corrected surname.