March 29, 2022
By Jasmine Willis
WAYLAND — The Wayland American Legion is holding a Wayland Fire Benefit for the victims of the Main Street Fire on April 2 at 3 p.m.
On Feb. 22 a morning blaze erupted on 12 N. Main Street and took out several apartments and local businesses. It displaced 11 families. The community rallied to help with fundraisers, donations, and offering up their homes. This upcoming benefit is another way to give back to those impacted by the devastating fire.
The Wayland Fire Benefit will include a chicken barbecue at 4 p.m. until gone at $12 each. There will be live music at 6 p.m. from Mort and The Innertubes. Anyone interested in donating baskets or gift certificates are encouraged to drop them off at the legion by Friday. All proceeds collected at this event goes to the Wayland Area Fire Victims Fund. The event was organized by Wayland American Legion and Wayland United Methodist Church.
Wayland Legion Post Commander, Kevin Mark said this is going to be a huge event for the community to come out and support the fire victims.
“Most of the families have been placed in other homes now. It has come a long way. It is not over yet. This will take a long time for the community to heal. People want to come back to their homes and businesses that have been lost,” he said. “We lost a couple of businesses that people were used to going to every day. I hope that the Chinese restaurant and Simply Harmony will be able to get a place on Main Street again. This benefit is a way for the whole community to come out and help any way we can.”
Mark said the community outpouring of support in the first few weeks was incredible. People from all over the region stepped in to help the victims with everything from clothes, money, food, housing, and more.
“We got them through the first few weeks with all the donations that were pouring in from all over the place. The outpouring of support from people was huge. We will see it all happening again this weekend,” he said. “It will take years to rebuild what we lost in the fire. Each family has a different need and is a completely different case. We are going to help everyone impacted by the fire at this benefit.”
Mark mentioned that a relationship was formed between the Wayland United Methodist Church and the Wayland American Legion in a mutual desire to help out the fire victims. The members of the church combined their fire benefit fund with the legion’s fire benefit fund to distribute the money to all those impacted by the fire.
“The Wayland United Methodist Church has been huge. I have never seen such huge support come from one group before. They have all worked so well with the legion. It shows when we all work together, we have more open minds,” he said.
One landlord in the Wayland area took on four of the fire families to house in his apartment, Mark said.
“I hope all of the families impacted by the fire come out to this event and see how much the community supports them. I want to see all of them there,” he said. “I know there is a little group of us that have lived through this. We know how it feels to live through a fire and what is needed. We are very grateful for all of the help. When something like this happens we step up quickly for those in need,” he said.