Fundraising efforts underway for residents, businesses impacted downtown Springfield fire

3 weeks ago
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The Springfield community is rallying together to support the residents and businesses impacted by the June 19 fire in the 400 block of East Adams Street.

The fire shut down the whole street known as the “Adams Family” for demolition for several days and power outages hit other businesses at the same time.

Ad Astra Wine & Tapas Bar owner Kristina Barbee said even while her own bar is facing unprecedented challenges because of the current economic climate, the first thing she did was meet with Mayor Misty Buscher on Thursday morning after the fire to see how she could help.

More: ‘A sad day for downtown Springfield’: Building damaged by fire will come down

“Downtown has not fully recovered from COVID and as a post-COVID business we’ve seen the fallout of longtime economic issues,” Barbee said. “We have asked our customers to pause their donations to us and focus their efforts on this effort instead right now.”

Several other GoFundMe’s donation campaigns verified by the team at GoFundMe.com are also gaining traction.

Here are all of the current fundraising events and donation pages available for helping downtown recover.
• None An official fund set up at the Illinois National Bank by former DSI director Lisa Clemmons Stott is for direct donations to help the displaced residents and business owners. Donations to the “Benefit for Businesses Affected by Adams Family Fire” will be accepted at any INB location.
• None On June 27, Kari Bedford Photography will have a fundraiser photoshoot from 5 to 9 p.m. at 314 E. Monroe St. Donations begin at $25 to the Adams Family downtown block.
• None Coffee for displaced persons and first responders is provided by Arrowroot Coffee Co. in front of Ad Astra for first responders and displaced persons.
• None A bar crawl featuring Bloom Wine Bar, Ad Astra and Buzz Bomb Brewing Co. from 2 to 6 p.m. on June 22 saw donation buckets in front of businesses to help fund the INB.
• None The Keep Store at 312 E. Adams St. has pledged all donations made at their pay-anything Gentle Yoga sessions Thursdays and Sundays will be set aside to support the Adams Family, until needs are met. One-hour yoga classes run at 5:15 p.m. on Thursdays and 10 a.m. on Sundays.
• None Electric Quill Tattoo shop is seeking support on GoFundMe after the total loss of their building. The 15,000 gallons of water used to fight the blaze caused the top floors of the building to collapse down into the tattoo shop located on the first floor. The owner, Steve Lima, along with his 5 other artists lost almost all of their supplies and equipment, along with personal artifacts used at each artist’s station. The team is looking to repurchase supplies and a new permanent location.
• None The Wakery at 5 West Old Capitol is still without power after the devastating fire on Adams Street, sustaining smoke damage and losing inventory in the cold storage. The non-alcoholic bar will be closed for several days and will not be able to pay employees through the course. This fund on GoFundMe is to help employees who depend on their wages.
• None A GoFundMe organized by Mark Denzler, President and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, said the fire which brought down the Adams Family businesses to a screeching halt has also impacted one staff member of the IMA’s livelihood. The woman who lived in the building center lost her home and belongings to the smoke and water damage and needs help getting back on her feet.
• None A GoFundMe has been set up for Tom Raymond, co-owner of The Cats’ Pyjamas which was entirely lost to the fire. While the cats are safe and being adopted out, Raymond put much of his money into the Cat Cafe and starting over is uncertain.

“Our side – the 300 block, will be open as far as we know,” Barbee said. “We are looking at doing more fundraisers in the future once we have a better idea of exactly what the needs are in the community.”

All links provided can also be found online at GoFundMe.com.

Claire Grant writes about business, growth and development and other news topics for the State Journal-Register. She can be reached at CLGrant@gannett.com; and on X (Formerly known as Twitter): @Claire_Granted

This article originally appeared on State Journal-Register: Fundraising efforts underway following downtown Springfield fire…Read more by Claire Grant, Springfield State Journal- Register

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