Neighbors and patrons lend a helping hand to Marblehead’s Landing Restaurant

Jennifer Fox, left watches as Ned Williams buys his tickets for the 50/50 raffle during the fundraiser for the employees of The Landing. (Owen O'Rourke)

MARBLEHEAD — Wick’s Brick Oven Restaurant and Bar was packed to the brim with people, all eager to put their hat in the ring for one of the many raffles, food, and drink, all for the benefit of The Landing Restaurant employees.

Earlier this year, flooding tore up floor boards and left minor damage at the oceanside restaurant. However, after reopening a few days later, a pipe burst in the attic, creating damage that has left the restaurant, which has served Marblehead since 1972, closed indefinitely.

The fundraiser at Wick’s was all about helping support the employees who are out of work during repairs.

“The overwhelming support and kindness is amazing,” said Felix Raphael, an employee for a decade at The Landing. “It’s fantastic and so important for us.”

One of the restaurant’s bartenders, Eric Larsen, was happy to see such support from the close community that he says is always looking out for each other.

“It’s a beautiful outreach,” he said.

There were more than 40 raffle items available; everything from knit hats, wine baskets, art and pictures, a Yeti cooler, DeWalt tools, and more, all donated by local businesses and people.

The Guy Ford Band also brought music to the scene. The group has been playing at The Landing since the 1980s, according to General Manager Robert Simonelli. Simonelli reached out to them because he wanted a local band to entertain for the night.

“When we have them at (The Landing) it’s always a big crowd,” he said.

One big sponsor of the night was Rumson’s Rum, a local Salem rum brand that donated 100 percent of the proceeds from their drinks to the employees.

“The Landing has always been a great supporter of ours since the beginning. When we found out what happened we had to help,” Rumson’s Rum Vice President, Steve Orne said.

Throughout the night dozens of local donations were handed in to Simonelli, which will be distributed to employees based on need and hours worked.

“We have been overwhelmed with all the support,” he said. “Tonight is all about our employees.”

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