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Friday, April 18 2014 3:34 PM EDT2014-04-18 19:34:46 GMT
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (CBS5) -
It was an emotional night in Scottsdale as the lone Granite Mountain Hotshot survivor thanked the community for their support and said while we can't bring his brothers back, we can do our best to honor them and take care of their families.
Brendan McDonnough was met with a standing ovation at the Gainey Ranch Golf Club on Friday night. They held a charity golf tournament with the proceeds going to the families of the Yarnell 19.
"We just feel we need to support these young men's families and do whatever we can," said Don Reger, a participant in the charity golf tournament and a former Prescott chiropractor. He said he has never seen a tragedy like the Yarnell Hill Fire.
"A lot of sadness still. You still see it," Reger said.
Players paid anywhere from $100 to $1,000 to play a nine-hole round, with the money going to the 100 Club to benefit the families of the fallen firefighters, overrun by a fire more than a month ago.
McDonnough was met with a standing ovation at the reception. He told the crowd of his first meeting with the general manager at Gainey Ranch Golf Club, Jim Murphy.
"I was in a cafe in Yarnell, and I was on my way to a funeral," McDonnough said. "I sat down and ate breakfast by myself, and he recognized me and told me he wanted to help."
McDonnough said donations are desperately needed for the wives and children his fellow hotshots left behind.
"There's a lot of children, unborn children, it's going to help a lot," McDonnough said.
"You see how many hugs they're giving him, the ovations they're giving him. He's a huge part of what we're doing today," Murphy said. The Gainey Ranch Golf Club raised $100,000 Friday and are hoping to see that number climb throughout the week. He said they just want to show McDonnough they won't forget his brothers, which is exactly what he asked for.
"We can't bring them back but we can remember them in an amazing way," McDonnough said.
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