LAKE PLACID - The owner of the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery says he is overwhelmed by the amount of donations that have flowed in for businesses that sustained devastating losses in a fire here last week.
Chris Ericson told the Enterprise that he and his wife, Catherine, have been "inundated by people donating" money and other items to help the owners of Placid Boatworks, Cake Placid, Rick's Taxi and Griffith Energy. The pub will host a fundraiser from 4 to 8 p.m. today, with $2 from every pint sold going to Jennifer Gates, owner of Cake Placid. There will also be a silent auction to raise money for the other businesses, and donation buckets will set up as well.
"It's a little overwhelming to us how generous people are being to try to help her - Jennifer - and the others out," Chris Ericson said. "Everyone needs a little bit of help."
The fire-damaged business building at 263 Station St., Lake Placid, is boarded up Saturday.
(Photo for the Enterprise — Richard Rosentreter)
The fire at 263 Station St. wiped out the four businesses. Joe and Jan Moore, who own the building and have insurance, wrote a letter to the editor this week urging anyone considering a donation to Joe's business, Placid Boatworks, to instead donate to Dmitri Federov, owner of Rick's Taxi.
"Rick's has been an integral part of our community for a long time and will need to replace radio and phone equipment that was destroyed and repair vehicles to get back up and running at full strength," the Moores wrote.
They said they're grateful no one was hurt.
"Things can be replaced; lives can't," the letter reads.
The Moores said they're confident the business owners will be able to bounce back and be "stronger than ever."
Lake Placid village Mayor Craig Randall said Assemblyman Dan Stec, R-Queensbury, contacted him this week to offer support to the business owners.
"While I don't know precisely what their needs are, we will reach out to those four businesses and let them know that offer is there, for what it may be worth," Randall said. "I don't really know if all four of them really know the extent of their challenges are going to be to get set back up."
On a Facebook page set up for tonight's fundraiser, Catherine Ericson noted that High Peaks Animal Hospital, Just Bead It, Price Chopper, the Lake Placid Lodge, Howard Johnson's and numerous other local businesses have donated to the silent auction. Meanwhile, Stacey Byno of Saranac Lake and others friends of Gates have been collecting donations.
The fundraiser will also serve as a toast to the firefighters, rescue personnel, police officers, and village and town workers who responded to the blaze, which broke out in the early morning hours last Friday in sub-zero temperatures.