LYNN — When there is a local tragedy, the city of Lynn is known for its communal efforts in helping those in need. For Broad Street residents who lost everything in Monday’s four-alarm fire, it is no different.
Twenty-eight residents were left with no roof over their heads along with the heartbreak of losing family pets and valuable items. Most of the victims are now displaced and concerned about what is next for them and their families.
District 45, one of Lynn’s new downtown restaurants, immediately offered up its help in fundraising efforts for the victims affected by the fire. Since Tuesday, the 45 Lewis St. location has left out a donation box at the front of their establishment for anyone who wants to contribute.
The restaurant’s owner, Henry Pariseau, has created a GoFundMe page and offered up his place to host a fundraising event on Friday. Up until the event, they will collect cash, gift cards, and new toiletries and bedding, with the tags still on, to distribute to the fire victims.
The restaurant will donate 20 percent of their sales from Friday to all of those affected by the fire. There will be live music from Seraphina James starting at 9 p.m. and a variety of raffles.
“Anyone who wants to donate something to the box or contribute something to be raffled off, we ask them to deliver it to the restaurant before 4 p.m. on Friday,” said Pariseau.
Maria Aybar, a professional photographer who is a lifelong Lynn resident, saw the generous efforts made by District 45 and pounced on the opportunity to contribute. She will be donating free mini photo sessions to the raffle, and free mini sessions to families affected by the fire to replace family portraits that were lost.
“Growing up in Lynn my whole life, I have met so many wonderful people,” said Aybar. “I just want to use my passion for photography to give back to my community.”
Ericka Ann Owens, another Lynn resident who felt inspired by the community’s efforts, created a GoFundMe page of her own to help her Uncle Thomas and Aunt Christine, who are victims of the fire.
“They lost everything they love in the fire, including their two cats and pet bird who they considered their children,” said Owens. “I just want to do everything I can to help them get a roof over their head.”
Anyone who wants to contribute to the victims of the fire can visit either of the above GoFundMe pages as well as attend Friday evening’s event at District 45.