LAKE PLACID - This community is rallying behind the owners of four businesses that were displaced by a major structure fire last week.
The Lake Placid Pub and Brewery has scheduled an event from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday to raise money for the owners of Placid Boatworks, Cake Placid, Rick's Taxi and Griffith Energy. The event will also serve as a toast to the firefighters who fought the blaze in frigid, below-zero temperatures.
The building where the businesses were located, 263 Station St., was destroyed by a fire that broke out in the early morning hours Friday.
According to a Facebook page for the fundraiser, the Pub will donate $2 from every pint sold to Jennifer Gates, owner of Cake Placid. There will also be donation buckets for specific businesses, and either a silent auction or raffle. More than 100 people had RSVP-ed as of this morning.
Friends of Gates reached out to the Enterprise over the weekend, noting that she had insurance but also paid big deductibles. Diane Kirby of Wilmington said Gates, who has two young children, will be without a source of income until she can reopen her business.
"Jennifer is a young woman who opened Cake Placid in LP about two years ago," Kirby wrote in an email. "(She has been) putting in 70 or more hours a week to make this business a success. Jennifer grew up in Wilmington and graduated high school in LP. She has worked in the Price Chopper bakery both in LP and the Albany area. Her dream has always been to have her own business. In a time when small businesses are having a very hard time, Jennifer was having tremendous success."
"Jennifer is an amazing young woman and really needs some help now. Jennifer's friends are taking up a collection for her to get back on her feet and get another store open somewhere in LP."
Stacey Byno of Saranac Lake has been collecting cash donations for Gates. Kirby noted that cash is the best way to help, unless someone can donate a coolers, display cases or ovens.
Byno said she will be dropping off flyers for the event at local fire departments today. She added that it's also important to recognize the town and village workers who responded to the fire.
Byno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-366-4754 for more information on how to help. Donations can also be dropped off at the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery.