CPN and BABA distribute money from fundraiser to those affected by Balt Ave fire

Image courtesy West Philly Local (http://www.westphillylocal.com/2012/12/24/fire-destroys-elenas-soul/) At the end of January, Cedar Park Neighbors (CPN) and Baltimore Avenue Business Association (BABA) co-hosted a community fundraiser for those who were affected by the Baltimore Avenue fire on December 24.  We're happy to report that last week, we mailed checks for $2500 to Algernong Allen (Elena's) and Nicole and Jason (Cedar Park Cafe).

The full text of the letter is below.   (We spoke to Thang Chau of Gary's Nails twice and sent him a certified letter.  He decided not to accept any money.)

Nicole and Jason report that they will start rebuilding soon and hope to re-open the Cafe before Labor Day.  Algernong's plans are still up in the air as he tackles a few insurance issues.  But if you know Algernong, you can't imagine that he'll stay idle for long!

Thank you, dear Cedar Park residents and businesses.  You're the best.

Dear Algernong, Nicole, and Jason:

Your fellow residents and those who do business in Cedar Park were devastated when your businesses were damaged or destroyed by the December 24th fire and its aftermath.  Many of us have been going to Elena’s—and before that, Leroy’s—for years.  And Cedar Park Café, although more recently opened, had already become a popular and welcome addition to Baltimore Avenue.

In the weeks after the fire, dozens of neighbors came to us and asked what they could do to help the businesses and the employees who were affected by the fire.  They were especially concerned about two things: (1) when will the businesses come back? and (2) how can we help our newly unemployed neighbors who lost their jobs?

Cedar Park Neighbors (CPN) and Baltimore Avenue Business Association (BABA), as you know, held a fundraising event on January 25 at The Cedar Works, and the outpouring of support was tremendous.  Scores of neighbors and virtually every business on Baltimore Avenue dug deep and gave generously.  In the end, we raised nearly $5000 for the owners and the employees of the businesses affected by the fire.  These can sometimes be difficult times, but when times are tough, neighbors will be there for each other.

We are happy to enclose a check for $2500.  We hope you can use this money to help your employees and to re-open your business as quickly as possible.  We miss you.  And hope this small contribution helps.

Your neighbors,

Michael Froehlich, President Cedar Park Neighbors

Vincent Whittacre, President Baltimore Avenue Business Association

PS.  We also reached out to the owners of Gary’s Nails, which was also damaged in the fire.  They declined to participate.