Thanksgiving dinner held for those affected by Woolsey Fire, mass shooting

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (KABC) -- It's been a difficult week for residents and first responders in Thousand Oaks, but the community took its first steps at recovery by celebrating Thanksgiving a week early on Friday.

"To come to events like this has been really uplifting, despite the hard week," said Agoura Hills resident Katie Johns.

In addition to the food, those whose homes burned down could shop for free from a variety of stores that donated brand new clothes, as well as kids toys and necessities.

The event was dreamed up just days ago by the owners of Proactive Sports Performance, while they themselves were evacuated due to the fire. Soon after, more and more companies kept joining in on the planned event.

"Tonight is about showering those who have lost so much -- whether it's been their home, whether it's been a loved one in the Borderline shooting," said owner Emily Capretta. "And all of our first responders -- we want to shower these people with love and support from the community, and if for one second it takes away an ounce of their pain, it takes them into a place that brings them a smile, then we've done our job."

Several pro athletes also affected by the fire attended the event, including Thousand Oaks native Christian Yelich, who was named National League MVP Thursday.

"It's been a tough week for a lot of people...just doing what you can to help people get back on their feet," Yelich said.

Also at the event was Yelich's teammate in Milwaukee, Ryan Braun, a former MVP himself and a Mission Hills native who is still evacuated from his Malibu home.

"I don't know how long we'll be out of our house but just to see the devastation for so many friends, driving around these neighborhoods, it's heartbreaking, man. It really is," Braun said.

The giving will go on far beyond this event. So far, about $75,000 have been raised in the community Thanksgiving dinner. If you want to donate to victims of the Borderline mass shooting and Woolsey Fire, click here.
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