By Hadas Kuznits

EWING TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) — Ewing Township community members put on a children’s performance Saturday afternoon in an effort to raise funds for those whose lives have been turned upside down by a gas line explosion in early March (read related story).

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Money raised at this event at Fischer Middle School will go to help the 55 families impacted by a March 4th natural gas explosion in Ewing Township.

Resident Jim McManimon, Ewing Township Business Administrator, was among those who lost their homes. He says for those who lost everything, the fundraiser means a lot.

“There’s money (at the fundraiser), there’s gift cards, there’s been clothes and other related items,” McManimon says, “toiletries, things that you can’t imagine that you need until you don’t have it anymore.”

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One person died and seven were injured in the gas line explosion. McManimon was lucky to be in his basement at the moment of impact.

“If I hadn’t been in the basement, you wouldn’t be talking to me,” he says. “My son bought a big screen TV and I criticized him for spending the money on it. I had taken the day off, I was going to go down and watch it and because I watched it, I’m alive.”

McManimon says some of his neighbors won’t be able to return to their homes for up to two years.

Those who would like to make a donation to the victims can contact the Ewing Community Center.

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