HUNTINGTON, Virginia (WSAZ) – After a fire destroys a well-known local business, community members step up to help those affected.
Early in the morning on August 1, a fire broke out at R&R Tent Rentals near South Webster.
The business will provide tents for events across the region and beyond.
Owner Rodney Wright says their entire inventory has been destroyed.
“I started with two tents 25 years ago, and I had probably 130 tents at this point,” Wright said.
The most painful part of the loss, Wright says, was the two tractors that his father and grandfather had owned.
Kristi Johnson is a teacher at South Webster High School. She says that work was an essential component of society.
“We have a few companies that always deliver to the school, and it was a giant,” Johnson said. “During COVID, when we finally had a concert in 2021, he donated all the tents, tables, chairs; over $3,000 worth of equipment he donated to our kids so they could have a night of their lives. He does things like that for us all the time.”
Ryan Fenton teaches at Bloom-Vernon Elementary School and has been working in R&R.
“When I graduated, Rodney gave me, like many other kids, a chance to work and earn some money,” Fenton said.
After the fire, Fenton and Johnson began organizing a golf match to try to raise $10,000 for those affected by the fire.
“We were so sad for him and wanted to help him,” Johnson said.
“If it helps him buy one piece of equipment he lost in the fire, that’s useful, but also to help the employees who are going to be temporarily laid off,” Fenton said.
“Every little bit will help,” Wright said.
Wright says it is humbling and moving to see those he has served over the years put in the effort to help him rebuild.
“Everyone in this community is helping,” he said. “I am speechless. It brings tears to my eyes every time I think of it. We will rebuild it day by day.”
The golf scramble is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 17th at Little Scioto Golf Course.
People can register by contacting Fenton at Ryan.Fenton@bvjeeps.org
People can become pit sponsors by contacting Johnson at Kristie.Johnson@bvjeeps.org
Wright says he thinks the fire was started by a lightning strike.
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