Community steps in to help employees of destroyed restaurant - News, Weather & Sports

Community steps in to help employees of destroyed restaurant

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Sam's Food and Spirits burned Tuesday morning in New Albany. Sam's Food and Spirits burned Tuesday morning in New Albany.

NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) – A community group is coming to the aid of workers who lost their livelihood two weeks before Christmas when Sam's Food and Spirits burned Tuesday morning.

Kiwanis of Historic New Albany has set up a donation fund.

"I think we all kind of look at waking up in the morning, no income, nothing," said club treasurer Colleen Endres about why members started the fund.

Sam's had been open at the location off Charlestown Road since 1985. Firefighters battled for hours there late Monday night and early Tuesday morning after a fire, which apparently started in the kitchen, spread to the attic and destroyed the restaurant.

Owner Sam Anderson expressed concern for his employees who were out of work and customers whose Christmas events had been scheduled in the New Albany favorite.

"Everyone in town knows Sam and consider him a friend and they wanted to do something to help," Endres said.

Sam's manager Jane Alcorn says the help is much appreciated.

"First off you have Christmas coming up and that was a big concern and this was a big money-making time for Christmas because we were always so busy but at the same time, you just have to pay your bills," she said.

Alcorn says other restaurants have pitched in as well, offering their space for Sam's to host scheduled Christmas parties.

"They've allowed us to bring our own servers in so they could make money, they've offered their space, they've offered jobs," Alcorn said.

The Kiwanis fundraiser has big goals. Endres says she's hoping for between $60,000 and $70,000.

"Folks probably are not going to spend this on Christmas," she said. "They're probably going to spend it on rent payments and the utilities so we need to make a significant difference."

Money can be given at River Valley Bank in Sellersburg or mailed to Kiwanis at:

  • 2724 Quail Chase Dr.
    Sellersburg, IN 47172

The club says checks should be made out to Kiwanis of Historic New Albany with Sam's Christmas Fund in the memo portion of the check.

The club pledges 100% of the money raised will be given to the employees. As of Wednesday morning, that total had already reached $5,000.

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