By ELISE McKEOWN SKOLNICK
A local business experienced a significant loss in a fire, so other businesses came together to help the owner get back on his feet.
Saturday’s event at The Bowery, 2729 E. Midlothian Blvd., benefited Struthers Chair and Tent Rental.
A fire destroyed the business at 625 Spring St. on May 26. Tents, tables and chairs went up in flames. Owner Joe Lattanzio said insurance will cover about $60,000 of the $360,000 loss.
Lattanzio is always there for them, said Mary Jo Naples, manager of The Bowery.
For a benefit for someone else, for example, Lattanzio helped out, Naples said.
“He donated the tables, the chairs and everything, without even blinking an eye,” she said. “Didn’t even have to ask him twice.”
Now it’s his turn, Naples added.
“We need to give back to him. He’s a very nice guy,” she said. “All businesses should stick together.”
The benefit included a 50/50 raffle, a Chinese auction and a buffet. Donations also were accepted.
Businesses and individuals donated much of the food and other items, Naples said.
Cathie Snyder attended because the event was for a good cause.
“He’s a great guy, so I’m here to support him,” she said.
In a small town such as Struthers, a loss such as the one Lattanzio experienced impacts everyone, Snyder said.
“Everybody pulls together,” she said.
It’s very nice of The Bowery to have the event, Lattanzio said.
“Anything helps. Every little bit will help,” he said. “They’re doing a great job.”
His inventory before the fire included 53 tents, 250 tables and more than 2,000 chairs. All that remains are four tents, 40 tables and about 300 chairs.
“It hurts not having everything,” he said.
The nearly 60-year old building that housed the business was a total loss. The rental company had moved to the building, owned by the Lyon Creed Corp. of Struthers, about five months earlier.
Struthers Chair and Tent Rental, which has been in business since the 1990s, is still operating.
The cause of the fire is undetermined.