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GiGi’s Playhouse Fargo looks to future following fire

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 5:30 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The video of flames tearing through a strip mall housing GiGi’s Playhouse in south Fargo broke many hearts in the community.

GiGi’s is the only Down syndrome achievement center in North Dakota and it helps dozens of families in the area.

“What a mess,” Kellie Hamre, President of GiGi’s Playhouse Fargo says as she looks at the destruction left behind.

The smell of the fire still lingers in what’s left behind of the place Hamre poured her heart and soul into.

“It’s still heartbreaking to see this,” Hamre says.

Not only is Kellie heavily involved in running the playhouse, her daughter, 7-year-old Bryn, uses the services GiGi’s provides.

“For her, it’s literally life-changing,” Hamre says looking at her daughter.

Now, life has changed again. Bryn’s face was pictured on the window greeting dozens of families as they walked up, but now it’s partially covered in plywood, and Hamre’s dreams are partially gone.

“You lose a little bit of yourself,” Hamre says. “Even though it’s not your fault, you feel like you failed.”

The glass on scene is now broken, the roof is collapsed and the services the playhouse offered are on pause--but the grit and determination of the GiGi’s community can’t be stopped.

“We are going to clean it up!” Bryn says as she looks to her mother.

“Yes we are,” Hamre says.

The team at GiGi’s is already committed to building back and they need your help. You can donate to their cause here.

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