The fires inside the Douglas churches may be out, but the images are still burning in the minds of the community.

Ben Troglia, a former Douglas resident, is using one of those images to help the congregations of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and First Presbyterian Church. It’s been five months since two fires destroyed two historic churches in Douglas and now Troglia is trying to create some good out of a bad situation.

I left Douglas but Douglas never left me, he said. I wanted to turn a negative into a positive and so it was my outlet to give back to the community…hopefully we can turn a really bad thing into a really good thing.

Troglia lives in Phoenix, and first heard about the fires on social media. After seeing the photos online, he knew he wanted to help, despite being more than 200 miles away.

I got real sensitive into the situation because, although these are not my churches, I have a lot of friends and family that this is where they went to church and it really broke my heart.

One of the images he saw online inspired him.

My goal was to make sure I got the edges burned,” Troglia said. “So I ordered extra pictures and I played with fire to get the actual way of making sure the edges were burnt correctly.

Troglia hand-made two charcuterie boards with the image and patches honoring the Douglas Fire Department. He said he worked with the photographer of the photo and the Douglas Fire Department to make sure they were all okay with his idea. Now he hopes the boards will help turn a tragedy into tears of joy.

My goal was to say, ‘Hey, can we turn this evil into something good?’ That is all I wanted to do is give back to my community in some way or form,” Troglia said. “Even though I live far away, it doesnt matter. I could still help.

His first call was to Douglas Rotary President Kristine Gomez, who said it was an immediate yes to helping out.

The churches are all pretty vital to the community, so it did change us, she said.

The rotary is helping Troglia raffle off the two boards via an online raffle. Money for the raffle is being collected through the Rotary’s Venmo or by check. Troglia said each ticket is $50 and his goal is to raise $10,000 to be split between the two churches. For more information contact the Douglas Rotary Club.

Troglia and Gomez hope to announce the winners by the end of the year, but that could change because they want to collect as much money as possible. All of the money raised will go to the churches affected by the fires.