By BRIAN BOHNERT
A local bar will host a fundraiser Saturday to benefit the families of the three victims of a deadly Memorial Day house fire on South Poplar Street.
To help cover costs incurred for the two deceased victims and one survivor of the May 26 arson at 614 S. Poplar Street, the Grooveline will seek donations during a benefit event from 6 p.m. to midnight Saturday at the bar, located at 300 N. Main St.
The event is being hosted by Grooveline Owner Pat Roddy, employees Tia Day and Rebecca Sander, and Fostorian Jules Cazey.
Cazey said the benefit will feature food, a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle, karaoke and entertainment provided by a DJ.
There will also be a $5 cover charge with additional donations being accepted at the door.
One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to help cover the funeral costs for Daniel Marker Jr., 48, and Tara Lynn Vance, 44, who both died in the fire, and the medical costs for Dana Weatherall, 49, who survived, Cazey said.
“We just want to help out the community and the families of the victims,” she said. “We have talked to several of the Markers and they said they didn’t have any money for the funeral; so, we thought we’d help out. There’s three victims, so we’ll get the proceeds and split them evenly in thirds.”
Anyone looking to help out and donate to the victims is urged to bring an empty stomach to the bar and purchase any of the available food items. Grooveline will be selling shredded chicken, pizza, bread sticks and drinks, Cazey said.
Additionally, various restaurants and organizations throughout the community have come together for the cause. Marcos Pizza, Reds Pizza, Kroger, Dairy Queen and American Table Family Restaurant have all donated several gift certificates that will be raffled off throughout the night, she said.
“To me that means a lot,” Cazey said. “It means that the community is willing to help others in the community.”
Cazey and her co-hosts do not have a specific goal in mind for how much they’d like to raise for the victims’ families, saying that any little bit helps.
“I just hope that people will be able to come out and help these families,” she said.
A railroad flare allegedly started the fire that killed Marker and Vance, and injured Weatherall. Shey L. Weiker, 31, and Charles V. Schaeffer, 44, both of 151 Taft Blvd., and Timothy D. Hall, 20, of 126 Findlay St., were arrested and charged in the arson.
The trio had their cases presented to the Seneca County Grand Jury Wednesday.
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