Ray Powers -Thomas Fire Relief Fund

$12,741 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 140 people in 2 months
About Me:
Hello I'm David Baker, I created this GoFundMe page on behalf of my dear friend Ray Powers. I've lived in the Ojai Valley since 1999 as a professional photographer and digital artist. My past endeavors include former computer scientist, former Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff and Vietnam veteran. 
I first met Ray Powers in 2011. As I came to know him my respect grew. His commitment to service, professionalism, work ethics and generosity of spirit were traits that shined through. We had the opportunity to work together on his Valley of the Moon Suite for which I photographed the spectaculer multimedia event he composed for the Ojai Youth Symphony. It was a huge undertaking from start to finish that Ray conceived, orchestrated, curated and worked with the conductor and students with a gentle intensity that was inspiring, playful and a wonderful gift for the community.

What Happened:
On Wednesday Dec.8, 2017  Ray Powers lost his home, personal belongings and business in the Ojai Thomas Fire. He escaped with a small suitcase of clothes, his laptop, camera and iPad. All else was consumed.
Actual photo of fires approach from security camera.
A video showing the pre and post fire land and buildings.
Who is Ray Powers and why do I want to help him:
For the last 11 years Ray has been the steward, caretaker and protector of the legacy historical property, Matilija Hot Springs, which has been a vital healing retreat for over 100 years. He lives a simple life, devoted to service, creating meaningful art and helping others achieve their goals and aspirations.
This is where the Thomas fire encroached, burning his home and audio/video studio to the ground. 

It was an extraordinary home nestled in a small lush canyon with the pristine Ventura River running through it all year round.

Though it was not just his home, it was also the base of his creative endeavors. He’s an accomplished composer, singer, photographer, and writer. This is how he made his living. Ray built Creekside Productions here, an audio/video studio that recorded seasoned professionals... 
as well as where he mentored aspiring musicians, composers and vocalists. Valley of the Moon Suite for the Ojai Youth Symphony

However, the fire put an abrupt stop to his revenue as it consumed not only his home but also the room with all of his equipment, instruments, which numbered many, and fine art photography. 
I’d like to help him, with your generosity and support, to raise money to replace his personal belongings, and to purchase the equipment to carry on with his business and artistic pursuits. An alternative and direct way to give is by using this  PayPal link. 

Together, I believe we can make this happen and that he deserves our support. He gives a lot to the community, serving on the Ojai City Planning Commission, offering his musical gifts for free to help philanthropic organizations, photographing many events at no charge, and so much more.

Whats Needed:
His estimated loss is $50,000 which, primarily, other than clothes, covers his immediate living expenses and studio equipment. This includes a desktop computer, analog/digital converter, speakers, video monitors, microphones, numerous keyboards and synthesizers, an array of world percussion instruments, electric and acoustic guitars, brass and woodwind instruments… and much more. The sooner we can join our resources, the sooner we can help Ray rebuild his life and business.

For those who prefer an alternative you can use the following link. It saves on the % taken out by GoFundMe yet also is a more direct way to give. PayPal

Thank you so much,
David Baker

A Little About Ray Powers:
Ray Powers (Creekside Productions) is an accomplished photographer, producer, composer, musician, vocalist, author and transformational coach.

He has spent the last 40 years passionately dedicating his life to the arts. Ray pioneered new age/world music throughout the 1980’s and continues to break new ground, writing music that matters and moves people. Ray is best known for composing both emotionally compelling and sonically intriguing pieces with meditative, rhythmic soundscapes.

Ray has been featured in local photo exhibits. The images capture the pristine beauty of the Ojai Valley, it’s landscapes, wildlife and character. His portraits share life stories and relationships of the unique personalities of the community that lives there.

In 2015 Ray was one of the few granted permission to photograph the Tibetan monks of the Drepung Loseling Monastery who were visiting Ojai. These fine print photos were used as a fundraiser to support the monks’ service to the world.
Community Builder:
Ray has been a resident of the Ojai Valley since 1999 and serves on the Ojai City Planning Commission, contributing to the legacy, sustainability and wellbeing of the Valley as we move into the future. He is also one of the producers of the Ojai Int’l Day of Peace festival, a community gathering that brings together, artists, musicians and organizations throughout the Ojai valley that are dedicated peace builders.

His body of work “Simple Brilliance” is his life’s philosophy expressed and applied through transformational coaching and mentoring for those in transition and life changes. As a lifelong meditator his perspectives and insights have helped many.

As an advocate of socially responsible business and fair trade practices, he has assisted entrepreneurs in strategies that developed sustainable models to maintain a thriving environment.

Ray is a conservationist and peace activist devoted to the service and protection of the earth. He believes everything works in symbiosis and that our lives are part of the natural ebb and flow. He perceives and looks to the wisdom of nature to learn from if we simply slow down and observe. 

Thank you in advance for your caring, support and generosity.
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It's been a while since I touched base with you all concerning Ray's progress in finding a new home. Financial assistance is still needed if you know of anyone personally who might be inclined to help out or share the GoFundMe link on your various social media pages and in email.

He lost about $60,000 of personal belongings and audio/video equipment combined. To date he's raised $12,741 via this gofundme. Thank you so much for contributing. He's also received monies from Help of Ojai, art exhibitions, his renters insurance, Red Cross and hopefully from FEMA. It adds up yet still doesn't amount to the losses he's incurred.

In terms of his living situation. He's been staying at a friends home who had an extra room for the last two months. That is coming to a close on Feb.15th or so. He's been avidly looking and engaged in finding a place yet, so far, nothing has shown up.

You may not have known that for the last 11years he had a service exchange agreement where he lived at Matilija Hot Springs rent free, meaning he was on a work trade for being able to live there. Rental inventory in Ojai is sparse and those that are available out of his affordability range.

Ideally he would like to find a similar circumstance, having managed five other retreats and estates in the area. Originally, when he first came to Ojai in 1999 as a life coach, he also had a service exchange agreement with a client who offered housing for his mentoring skills.

In speaking with him recently, and you may have seen his posts on the Facebook group, Ojai Community Thomas Fire Network, his goal is to find a landowner where he can build a fire resistance and earthquake resilient small home with tried and true building materials and methods such as straw bale, Cobb, super adobe or hempcrete. All of these are much less expensive than lumber homes and more suited to the environment of the Ojai Valley. I've attached some photos he posted of some of this construction.

If you have any ideas, or you or someone you know has property and would like to collaborate with him on this please contact him direct via Facebook messenger or phone/email if you have it.

Any other questions, please ask.
All the best and thank you again,
David Baker
Strawbale construction legal in Ventura
Cobb construction
Superadobe in progress before plaster
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It’s been awhile since I’ve touched bases. Again, I wanted to thank you all for helping to support Ray as he regroups after the loss of his home, belongings and studio. If you follow him on Facebook, you’ll know he’s kept a very healthy perspective and positive attitude about the challenges of his situation. His photography and personal anecdotes he’s posted have been inspiring.

There’s a video he’ll be sharing soon with some new music, the first since the fire, included. Please keep him in your thoughts, contribute if you feel inclined and most of all, share his gofundme me to help get him back on his get and into a new home and back to business.

Thanks again,...
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Thank you all for your continued support of Ray’s Go-Fund-Me page. We’re slowly and steadily moving towards the goal.

He’s doing okay, has a comfortable roof and room with some friends, and if you’ve seen his Facebook posts, has turned his tragedy into art photography.

Please continue to share his campaign with your friends, on social media and email lists. With your help we can keep the momentum going and have a huge impact on getting him back on his feet.

Thanks again for all your support,

P.S. Here’s a couple recent photo Akka B took of Ray up at his home.
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I’m so happy that people are sharing the links to Ray’s funding campaign. Over 200 people have shared it to Facebook or email lists. Let’s keep that going and help him out as much as we can.

This is one of my favorite photographs he took as he found the beauty in the destruction. His documenting of the loss is with an artful eye.
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Raised by 140 people in 2 months
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