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Creamery raises $7,700 to aid one of its workers

A Rogue Creamery fundraising effort to help the family of one of the company's cheesemakers garnered more than $7,700 last week.

Rogue Creamery donated all proceeds from cheese sales Oct. 27 at its Central Point store, online and at the Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market in Ashland, as well as at a farmers market at Portland State University on Wednesday, to Poasa Galo and his family.

Galo, who has worked at the creamery since September 2005, is originally from American Samoa, which was hit by a tsunami that swept through the region Sept. 29. His family home was lost and his 16-year-old sister killed.

The benefit broke sales records for the creamery, company officials said. Shoppers also left donations of checks or cash for the family, said Francis Plowman, Rogue Creamery's marketing manager.

"There are a lot of generous people," he said. "This is a great community for that."

Creamery owners David Gremmels and Cary Bryant bought Galo plane tickets to American Samoa and he will travel to visit his family and take them the money raised to aid in their rebuilding process.

Gremmels thanked people for their support in a written statement. He also encouraged anyone still interested in giving to contact the United Way to assist with a variety of needs here in the community.