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Kenosha gym owner and Australian native organizing fundraiser to help Australia battle wildfires

Posted at 9:26 PM, Jan 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-10 23:30:07-05

KENOSHA — Wildfires in Australia are burning out of control and hitting close to home for a gym owner in Kenosha.

Marnie Nehls is an Australia-native, feeling the weight of the crisis half-a-world away.

"Just kind of watching the devastation unfold, and figure out what we can do from over here."

She recently relocated to Kenosha after marrying her husband Joe.

Together they own and operate Crossfit Kenosha along with their rescue dog Logan.

Marnie's world has been turned upside down, seeing the devastation from fires back home.

"The fire kind of came through unexpectedly and left them without power, a lot of them without homes."

Her hometown of Bermagui, New South Wales had to be evacuated. Her family is safe. She gets constant updates through social media.

"First thing in the morning it's like 'what's happened for the day?'"

It is Australia's worst fire season ever.

Damage is widespread, dozens of people have died, and hundreds of thousands more have been forced to leave their homes behind.

"We get fires every season," Nehls said. "Not to this extreme, like it has never really been to this point."

Homesick and heartbroken, she is using her passion for CrossFit to help.

A fundraiser is planned Saturday, January 11 at their gym for wildfire relief. It runs from 8:00 a.m. to noon at Crossfit Kenosha.

Businesses have donated raffle prizes. All of the money raised will go to The New South Wales Royal Fire Service in Australia

"Kenosha is one of those cities that really comes together quick." said Joe Nehls "You extend a branch, they're really quick to go above and beyond."

If you want to donate contact Marnie Nehls at (262) 597-5113.

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