by Jack Silbert
It may have been held at 1005 Washington Street, but the night was all about 918 Willow. The people of Hoboken once again showed their compassionate side, making Thursday’s Benefit for the Victims of the 918 Willow Avenue Fire an overwhelming success. More than $13,000 was raised (including $1,000 from Dan Voehringer of RE/MAX Gold Coast Realty) to aid the displaced residents and ground-floor D’s Soul Full Café affected by the New Year’s Day blaze.
Donations can still be made via PayPal.
The event was organized by Theresa Minutillo, assisted by Joe Mindak and the Hoboken Rotary Club, and Hoboken Elks Lodge #74, which hosted the event. Generous contributions to the fundraiser, which doubled as hMAG’s February mixer, included beer provided by Hoboken’s own 902 Brewing Company and also Cusqueña Cerveza Premium, and spirits provided by Jameson Irish Whiskey.
David Entwistle, music booker at Maxwell’s Tavern, pieced together an excellent slate of entertainment, engineered by Chris “Gibby” Gibson of Upstart Studios. The talented musicians volunteering their services were Dave Calamoneri, Debby Schwartz, Las Vandelays, The Fave, Allison Strong, and the Karyn Kuhl Band. The master of ceremonies was some guy in a shiny red tuxedo jacket. (Oh wait, that was me.)
Hoboken Fire Department Battalion Chief Mario Fini, whose battalion quickly responded to the 918 Willow electrical fire and prevented further damage or harm, addressed the large crowd. He happily reported that the two brave firefighters injured at the scene have made full recoveries. Fini encouraged the people of Hoboken to have their buildings inspected by the Department’s Bureau of Fire Prevention & Investigation. The number to call is 201-420-2268.
Residents of 918 Willow, along with Stephen Bailey and Dwight Thompson of D’s Soul Full Café, thanked the community for all their support over the past two months. Thompson announced that D’s is scheduled to reopen in June. (Mark your calendars, breakfast burrito aficionados.)
Good on you, Hoboken, for a job well done. It’s a pretty small town, so the least we can do is look out for each other.