Moore Fund Grows in Buchanan
By Kelly Brown
It started last year, the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, local businesses in Buchanan shut down or forced to move to take-out/curbside service. Gift cards from those businesses were purchased with the instruction to hand them out to those who seem in need of them. Flower arrangements were ordered with the instruction that the arrangements were to be passed out at the owner’s, Anna Gordon of Flowers By Anna, discretion and all of this was done anonymously to help keep local businesses afloat.
Fast forward to the present day and those local businesses are still open, a blessing in a time where so many small businesses have floundered or closed. Unfortunately and much to everyone’s dismay, the Coronavirus is still making its rounds through our community. There are few who are more aware of this fact than Buchanan’s own, Kelly Moore whose husband, Douglas Moore (61), passed away on Jan. 16, 2021 from the virus.
In the aftermath of this loss, local Buchanan businesses have stepped up in support of Kelly the way a year ago community members had stepped up in support of them. What started out as a plan to raise funds to take the financial weight of medical bills off of Mrs. Moore’s shoulders turned into an effort to create a memorial scholarship fund in Douglas Moore’s name after another party set up a GoFundMe account to cover the medical expenses.
Mariah Molitor, owner of Gary Z’s Subs, is raffling off $5 gift cards to Buchanan businesses once a week for an entry fee of $1 or “Moore” and has plans to run these raffles until the end of April. During an email conversation with Mariah she stated, “We are a tight knit community. I am a business who’s just trying to help people as much as I can. I love my town. I love what we stand for. I am proud to be a part of a community that embraces each other.” responding to the question of how it felt to be a part of the effort to lift up a fellow community member. Even through the medium of email her passion for her community shines through.
Ron, Libby, and Jim Hein of Hein Electric, an electric contracting company are in the process of making up a basket that includes merch with their company’s logo on them and gift cards that have been purchased locally to raffle off as well. Other businesses included in this memorial fundraiser efforts are: Bucktown Nutrition, owned by Kati and Leland Payne (whose new building just so happens to be the original location of Kelly Moore’s Impressions Styling.), Hilltop Cafe, owned by Maria Bouzas, Gary Z’s Subs, owned by Mariah Molitor, and Milano’s Pizza, owned by Brian Ketchum. Another local business Flowers By Anna, owned by Anna Gordon, set up a drawing at their Spring Open House March 27 that raised another $590 toward the Moore Fund.
It is clear that Buchanan is a town full of community members with a lot of heart and compassion. We count have won the Reader’s Digest Nicest Place in America award 2020 without it. It is the very definition of community in action to rally around and support a member in need. COVID-19 seems to have opened people’s eyes to a lot of things recently, not least of which is the need for strong community bonds. Bonds between local small businesses and the members of the communities they serve, and the bonds between the community members themselves as well, so that what benefits one can eventually benefit all.
Jason Stroud has played the role of organizer for several of these fundraisers, getting the word out to businesses that may want to participate and keeping track of who’s who. In a phone interview that I conducted with him he agreed that COVID-19 has brought our community together but reiterated that, “We need to get away from the idea that Buchanan is just the place where we live.” confirming that we as a community have a firm foundation, but that in order to thrive, we need to see our community as the place where we buy our groceries and can greet the owner by name. The place we go to play and run into good friends and family often at the many events and activities that Buchanan has to offer. Buchanan can become THE place everyone wants to be because its residents know it has everything they need, all within its city limits.