By Konstantine Fekos
Walgreens drug store on North Street in Meadville is planning a two-day donation drive event starting Tuesday to benefit the victims of last week’s Chestnut Street fire.
Customers can purchase or drop off household items, including laundry soap, paper towels, toilet paper, tissues, kitchen utensils and more.
All donations will be sent to Center for Family Services for distribution, according to Matthew Simonette, Walgreens assistant store manager.
“I just wanted to do something to give back the only way I know how,” he said in a press release. “I have lived in Meadville all my life, my father served this community as a firefighter/paramedic for many years, my brother is a paramedic for Meadville Ambulance and my wife is a nurse at the (Meadville Medical Center).”
The event will include a live COOL 101.7 broadcast from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday and appearances from Meadville firefighters Tuesday from 1 yo 4 p.m. and Wednesday from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
“They will be here to support our donation drive as well as handing out fire prevention information,” Simonette said.
Walgreens will host a bake sale to raise extra money and raffle off gift cards from several area businesses, including The Movies at Meadville, Plaza Lanes, Valenza Restaurant, Montana’s Rib and Chop House and McDonald’s.
Donations for the 390 Chestnut Street fire victims can still be sent to the Crawford County Humane Society Thrift Store, 904 Park Avenue, and United Way of Western Crawford County, 415 Chestnut Street, as well, according to Joe Labruzzo, property co-owner.
“We at Labruzzo Properties send our deepest condolences to all the families that have been displaced by this tragedy,” he said. “It is a sad day to see one of Meadville’s landmark buildings destroyed. We are thankful that no one was injured.”
Labruzzo released a statement to the Tribune, thanking those who lent their assistance during and after the fire.
“We would like to send a personal thank you to all the heroic firefighters who battled this blaze, Mayor Soff, City manager Joe Chriest, City Councilmen LeRoy Stearns and Robert Langley, Deb Leahman from CHAPS and the many who came to help out in such frigid temperatures,” he said.