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O.C. man gives $10,000 to South L.A. church destroyed by fallen tree

November 20, 2009 |  4:02 pm

An Orange County businessman donated $10,000 today to Pilgrim Community Church in South Los Angeles, where gusty winds blew a 90-foot pine tree onto the roof of the small church, destroying the building.

The donation was delivered about 11 a.m. by Pastor Matt Olthoff of the Mariners Church in Newport Beach. A church member made the donation but requested anonymity, Olthoff said.

Pilgrim church member Lorraine Cook-Curry, whose grandfather the Rev. Henry Cook founded the small, white church, accepted the money.

“I was expecting $10 or $100,” Cook-Curry said in a telephone interview. “But then I saw one too many zeros, and I almost went over the rail.”

In addition to the donation, volunteers from Mariners will help rebuild Pilgrim church, Cook-Curry said.

Donations have trickled in since the tree blew down Oct. 27, Cook-Curry said, and church leaders hope to raise at least $60,000 to help pay for construction costs and to buy generators.

Neighbors have volunteered to help with demolition, which is set to be completed next week. Local churches also have offered to help, but nothing has been organized yet, she said.

“I’m still kind of numb,” she said. “I want to wash this man’s feet. He’s an angel. What a blessing.”

Donations to assist Pilgrim Community Church can be sent to P.O. Box 111728, Los Angeles, CA 90011.

--Ruben Vives

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